The Chicago Bulls are coming off a season in which they went 46-36 and secured the No. 6 seed in the East. The Bulls were bounced from the playoffs by the Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round. The team has turned its attention to improving moving forward and has taken some solid steps in this direction.

Chicago made news in the draft by selecting Dalen Terry with the 18th overall pick. The Arizona product is a hard-nosed defender who brings a lot of energy to the court. The franchise also made some notable additions in free agency. Here are some early grades for the Bulls' moves in 2022 NBA free agency.

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Chicago Bulls 2022 NBA Free Agency Grades

Zach LaVine: B+

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The Bulls made a notable commitment to Zach LaVine by handing him a five-year, $215 max contract this offseason. The 27-year-old has found a long-term home in Chicago, and it is a good move for the organization to lock him up long-term. LaVine averaged 24.4 points, 4.6 rebounds, and 4.5 assists this past season, and he spent a good chunk of it playing hurt. While it is unclear if he will ever develop into a Grade A star, LaVine is a solid fit alongside DeMar DeRozan and Nikola Vucevic. Locking him up to a long-term contract is a smart move, especially considering how the salary cap is only expected to increase.

Goran Dragic: C-

In a somewhat surprising move, the Bulls inked Goran Dragic to a one-year deal worth $2.9 million. The veteran point guard only appeared in 21 games last season and is on the tail end of his career. Dragic has career averages of 13.7 points, 4.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. The 36-year-old is also a career 36.2% 3-point shooter.

While the hope will be for the Slovenian to play a role in the rotation, his best asset may be as a mentor. The Bulls are certainly looking to contend next season, and giving a veteran for Ayo Dosunmu, Coby White, and Dalen Terry to learn from could be beneficial. There is no real risk in giving Dragic the veteran's minimum, but it is not a move that should be expected to yield major results moving forward.

Andre Drummond: C+

Last season was an interesting one for Andre Drummond. The 28-year-old took a veteran's minimum with the Philadelphia 76ers in order to rebuild his value. After impressing greatly as the backup to Joel Embiid to start the season, Drummond was included in the trade which landed James Harden. The two-time All-Star was thrown into the starting lineup in Brooklyn and averaged 11.8 points and 10.3 rebounds per game.

The Bulls dished out a two-year contract for $6.56 million to land Andre Drummond. The four-time rebounding champion will be a serviceable backup big man for Chicago. However, he greatly struggled in the Nets' brief playoff appearance. There are some holes in Drummond's game that can be difficult to cover up at times. He does not excel when forced to guard on the perimeter and can do too much with the ball on offense. The contract still holds solid value and is another low-risk move. There will be flashes where he impresses, but he will not be a guy who challenges for starter minutes.

Derrick Jones Jr.: C+

The Bulls also agreed to bring back Derrick Jones Jr. on a two-year deal worth $6.56 million. The high-flyer averaged 5.6 points and 3.3 rebounds in his 17.6 minutes per game with the team in 2021-22. At times he shows some really impressive flashes, especially with his defense and athleticism, but Jones has struggled to show consistency and is a poor shooter. Even still, the 25-year-old has taken some strides forward throughout his six-year career.

Once again, this is a low-risk, high-reward move for Chicago. By all accounts, Jones is a solid locker room guy who still has intrigue in his game. If he can continue to develop and add layers to his ability, he could grow into a high-caliber rotational piece. However, this move is somewhat questionable given his 29.8% mark from 3-point range and the Bulls' lack of 3-point shooting.


While none of these moves may be franchise-altering, stacking each of them together improves the team. The Bulls were unable to grow into true contenders last season and will be looking for this to change. Adding Lonzo Ball back to the roster will make a major difference as he was greatly missed for most of last season. The trio of Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, and Nikola Vucivic will also need to continue to jell together. The franchise has put some nice pieces together, they just have to find a way to fully make them click while relying on the development of young players like Patrick Williams to move the team forward.