Free agency begins June 30 at 6 p.m. CT and the Bulls will have in the range of $22 million to fill out their roster.
Mark Schanowski took a look at how the Bulls may decide to spend their money earlier in the week. Here, we'll analyze the groups of players the Bulls may pull from in the lead-up to the start of the frenzy on Sunday night.
The Bulls are deep at point guard, but they're not all that talented. They drafted North Carolina's Coby White seventh overall and still have Kris Dunn, a former fifth overall pick. Ryan Arcidiacono could be back on a small deal. The issue, of course, is experience. Dunn and Arcidiacono are both 25 years old, and they've played a combined 281 games. That's less than 3.5 NBA seasons. There's a real need for a veteran presence to both improve the Bulls and mentor White as the lead guard of the future.
The Bulls were 29th in offensive rating and 28th in effective field goal percentage last season. They were dead last in 3-point makes per game (9.1), though their slow pace did them no favors in that regard. They were a respectable 19th in 3-point field goal percentage, and 17th after Jim Boylen took over in early December (on just 8.7 makes, also last in the league). It's no secret that the Bulls need shooting. The return of Denzel Valentine will help, but not so much that they don't need to address the issue. Even if young players like Chandler Hutchison, Wendell Carter and Kris Dunn make strides from beyond the arc, wing shooting is arguably the biggest component missing from this Bulls offense.
The foundation of the Bulls' frontcourt is pretty much set. They love what they have in Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr., and they're not even close to having fully untapped their potential. It's not traditional but the Bulls are happy to have a pair of bigs to build around. However, there's not much behind them. They dealt Jabari Parker and Bobby Portis at the trade deadline last season, Robin Lopez is a free agent and Cris Felicio simply isn't an option for serious minutes. They drafted Daniel Gafford in the second round but will need someone to back up Markkanen. A power forward is a clear need this summer.
Cris Felicio is the second oldest player on the Bulls. Zach LaVine is 25 and has played the second most games of anyone on the roster. Otto Porter is the lone Bulls player to have tasted the postseason, and he has all of 31 games under his belt. This hasn't been an issue in the first two years of the rebuild because of Robin Lopez and even guys like Justin Holiday or Quincy Pondexter in 2018, but it's now a clear need. The Bulls need to get older in a few areas to mentor young players and manage the locker room. The kids are still the future, but a guiding presence or two will go a long way. Just ask other successful rebuilds.
One man's trash is another man's treasure. The Bulls are in the stage of the rebuild where they can take fliers on cheap talent that still has untapped potential. Granted, it didn't work all that well last season with Jabari Parker but diamonds in the rough like David Nwaba and Shaq Harrison exist. They're not franchise changers but they're important in the long run as depth and potential trade chips.