The Chicago Bulls are (almost) back, baby! The skepticism and doubt surrounding this squad heading into the season has been all but erased, as they have raced their way to the top of the Eastern Conference. New acquisitions DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso have immensely been helpful to the team.

Despite their insane start, though, there is one issue that plagues the roster: rebounding. For the most part, this hasn't been an issue right now for them: the Bulls' explosive offense and disruptive defense have masked these issues. However, come playoff time, this issue might become the undoing of their season.

Biggest need the Bulls must address at the 2022 NBA Trade Deadline

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The Bulls' defense has been better than advertised, but it's still not great. Many fans were skeptical of the Bulls' ability to hang on defense, considering their… sub-par defenders (read: Zach LaVine, DeRozan, and Nikola Vucevic). Despite pundits expecting this squad to be at the bottom of the league, they have been pedestrian, sitting at 17th in defensive rating.

While that may seem like a win for some fans, it's really not. Earlier in the season, the Bulls were a top-10 defensive outfit in the league. For them to falter back into the middle of the back is rather unacceptable, especially for a contending team. Their biggest problem on defense, by far, has been rebounding.

The Bulls have ranked 28th in the league in total rebounds per game, and are bottom ten in rebound percentage. Despite getting solid defensive efforts from their “weak” defenders and lockdown D from Ball and Caruso, they've had a hard time closing out possessions in their favor. You can play the best defense in the whole league, but if you can't finish the job with a rebound, it all goes to waste.

Some fans might point to their defensive rebounding percentage and say that it's not really an issue: the Bulls surprisingly rank 10th in DefRb% according to Basketball-Reference. However, that number is inflated by one man: Nikola Vucevic. The Serbian center is by far the team's leader in defensive rebounds with 9.4 per game. The next closest is Zach LaVine with a measly 4.6 per game.

Take out Vucevic's rebounding, and the Bulls fall to a ghastly 72.9 DefRb%. No player should shoulder the rebounding duties that heavily. When your second leading rebounder on the team is a guard (Lonzo Ball, with 5.4 total rebounds per game), you have a big depth problem at the big man slot.

Losing Patrick Williams early in the season due to a dislocated wrist has completely derailed the Bulls' frontcourt rotation. They have been forced to start DeRozan at power forward, who's a talented scorer but should NOT be helping out with rebounding duty. Their other power forwards range from mediocre to atrocious when it comes to rebounding. Hell, their backup center, Tony Bradley is averaging just 4.1 rebounds per game!

The Bulls absolutely need to address their frontcourt woes if they want any shot at making it deep in the playoffs. They might be able to stop teams with their intense point-of-attack defense and quick hands, but if they can't grab the rebounds that matter, their efforts will be wasted. There's plenty of help on the market, whether it's through free agency or by trade.

Coby White has been balling out for the team recently. Patrick Williams, despite his injury status, is still a valuable trade chip. Maybe they can grab some free agents lying around (Greg Monroe could be an interesting back-up option). If the Bulls can find a way to trade or sign some much-needed paint help before the deadline, they could go all the way to the Finals.