Are the Chicago Bulls going to make a move in free agency?

The Zach LaVine free agency situation and other potential signing options for the Chicago Bulls.

Now that all of the major free agents have been signed and the Bulls have yet to make a move, Bulls fans are left wondering if the team is going to make any kind of signing or trade. Despite the team coming off a tanking season, with LeBron leaving the Cavs the Los Angeles Lakers, the Eastern Conference gets a lot easier. The 76ers and Celtics will be very competitive but outside of those two teams, fighting for a playoff spot could be a free for all for the mediocre teams in the conference. The Bulls could be one of those teams.

The biggest name the Bulls are looking to is, of course, Zach LaVine and there hasn’t been much talk of a deal being close to done. The Sacramento Kings have also reportedly been interested in LaVine and could have the cap space to make an offer to LaVine that the Bulls would not be willing to match.

LaVine seems to expect a max contract but I would be very wary of giving him such a deal at this point. Despite being the supposed “centerpiece” of the Jimmy Butler trade, LaVine still only played in 24 games last season. While he did not seem to lose any of his athleticism after the injury, his play still makes one question whether he has what it takes to be able to take the reigns as the number one or two option on a competitive team.

Despite the discouraging nature of this twitter exchange, I have been a proponent of a two year deal for LaVine at around $15 million per season. A max contract for LaVine would be a five year $146 million. Yikes. That is such a dangerous commitment for a player coming off an ACL injury with only 24 very inconsistent games under his belt since his return.

I like LaVine and I would like to see him succeed with the Bulls, but not if it means the team could potentially lock themselves into a massive contract with a still unproven player.

Other Team Needs

Outside of bringing back LaVine, the Bulls could also look to sign another point guard or wing.

Despite Kris Dunn, Jerian Grant, and Cameron Payne all being under contract for the 2018-19 season, I think it would greatly benefit the Bulls to add another option at point guard. We have seen just about all we need to see from Grant and Payne to know that they should not be given the second string duties. The FO also seems to be unsure whether Dunn is even the starting point guard of the future. 

While I believe Dunn is still far and away the best option available to the Bulls at this moment, I am also of the mindset that the team should pursue another backup option this summer. 

At this point in free agency, there aren't any big names left in the point guard pool. The most likely options at this point would be Shabazz Napier, Yogi Ferrell (both restricted), or Tim Frazier. None of these guys are markedly better than Grant and Payne, so unless the Bulls make a trade, they will likely run it back on with their current guards.

Signing another small forward won't be as necessary, however, especially if the Bulls won't be trying to win games in the coming season.

There are too many exciting wing players left anyway. Jabari Parker is still available but will probably be looking for a bigger contract so if the Bulls decided to take a chance on Parker, they probably wouldn't have the cap space to bring LaVine back. There is also the issue of Parker being more of a 4 than a 3 and there is already a logjam at the 4 and 5 with Markkanen, Portis (hoping he re-signs), Carter Jr., and Lopez. 

I am hoping the Bulls can also bring back Nwaba at a reasonable salary, who can play the guard or the forward positions. They also drafted Hutchinson and they still have Valentine, so options are available, it is just a question of what the ceiling is for those guys. 

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