Bulls insist tanking not in plans, and actually show it

Zach LaVine and the Bulls escaped with a thriller of a win over the Knicks in New York.

It’s true the Chicago Bulls are just 3-8 following their thriller of a 116-115 double-overtime road win over the New York Knicks on Monday.

And it’s true that, despite performances like Zach LaVine’s 41-point eruption vs. the Knicks, the Bulls aren’t expected to make the playoffs.

But there will be no talk of losing on purpose.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

Coach Fred Hoiberg wants to rebuild — and win while they’re doing it.

So even though the Bulls entered Monday night’s game at Madison Square Garden with an injury-depleted roster and a 2-8 record, Hoiberg said there’s no talk within the organization of playing for a higher draft pick.

“No, it hasn’t changed anything,” he said.

The Bulls aren’t yet getting as much as hoped from forward Jabari Parker, signed in free agency (though Parker did have 15 points and eight rebounds vs. the Knicks).

Still, Parker is coming under fire from fans and media for his early-season average play.

“The good news is the Bulls own the option on Year 2 of Parker’s deal, so they can cleanse themselves of 245 pounds of mope by the summer,” wrote Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times. “But the key to this season was development, and all Parker has done is steal minutes from a younger player who could use them.”

At any rate, rookie forward Wendell Carter Jr. is being brought along slowly.

And big man Lauri Markkanen, wing Denzel Valentine and point guard Kris Dunn are out with injuries.

Lavine, though, has been fantastic — an ultra-athletic backcourt force who makes every Chicago game worth watching.

So there is a lot to digest when it comes to the Bulls. Just don’t say they want to lose on purpose. A road win like the one on Monday offers at least a little evidence of that.