One signing the Chicago Bulls need to make in free agency
In the summer of 2010, the Bulls went after LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, only to end up with Carlos Boozer. In 2014, Chicago thought they were getting Carmelo Anthony. However, they got Pau Gasol instead.
It’s a new era in Chicago, though. John Paxson and Gar Forman are no longer running the show. The Bulls are now in the trusted hands of Arturas Karnisovas, who previously worked with the Denver Nuggets and helped the franchise scout and draft Nikola Jokic.
Whenever the 2020 free agency period starts, Karnisovas should have his eyes on the guard and wing positions. The Bulls need wing depth and more athletes to get out in transition to score easy baskets instead of always relying on its half-court execution.
Chicago is reportedly eyeing Goran Dragic and Derrick Jones Jr. from the Miami Heat, as both players become unrestricted free agents whenever the 2020 offseason begins (per Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times).
Dragic, who’ll turn 34 in May, averaged 16.1 points for the Heat before the 2019-20 season was suspended. Meanwhile, Jones Jr. put up 8.9 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.1 assists for Miami. He can flat out jump out of the gym, but his overall offensive skill is pretty raw.
Chicago has been searching for a stable point guard since the Derrick Rose trade. The Bulls started Tomas Satoransky this 2019-20 campaign at the point guard spot, with Kris Dunn and Coby White next on the depth chart. Dragic would be an upgrade over Tomas as the starter, but the team signed Satoransky to a three-year deal.
If Karnisovas is looking to upgrade his point guard with Dragic or someone else, he will have to find a trade partner for Satoransky as well.
The best player the Bulls can go after in free agency and realistically get is Toronto Raptors floor general Fred VanVleet. He’s expected to get a huge payday in the summer, and the Windy City franchise should take a look at what it costs to bring the Rockford, Illinois native back to his hometown.
VanVleet was averaging 17.6 points, 3.8 rebounds and 6.6 assists for the Raptors this season before play was suspended. He’s an excellent playmaker, shot creator and shooter. The Bulls’ floor spacing and overall offensive flow would be much smoother with Fred running the show instead of Satoransky.
FVV was making $9 million this season. As an unrestricted free agent, the NBA champion guard can take meetings with whichever teams he wants and sign a contract without the Raptors having the ability to match it.
One can assume VanVleet would have some interest in playing for the Bulls since he grew up in Illinois. Chicago would also be very fortunate if they were able to steal Fred away from the Raptors because he has the talent and overall pedigree to be a borderline All-Star player if his minutes and usage rate increase.
Karnisovas has A LOT of work to do to make the Bulls title contenders again, let alone a playoff team. Addressing the point guard and wing positions should be a priority for Arturas.
VanVleet could be a guy the franchise can pair with star shooting guard Zach LaVine in the backcourt. Fred’s arrival in Chicago would instantly make the game 100 times easier for Zach.