Both Ryan Arcidiacono and Bulls fans alike are breathing a sigh of relief this Tuesday evening.
As first reported by Shams Charania, and later confirmed by Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson, Arcidiacono and the Bulls have agreed to a three-year, $9 million deal. The Bulls were able to sign Arcidiacono because they had his early Bird rights, meaning they still have the $4.76 million room exception to use one more player to round out their offseason.
For Arcidiacono, it's the payday he's been waiting for and finally gives him some security after playing last season on a parially guaranteed deal (that was made fully guaranteed in January as the Bulls dealt with myriad injuries).
Arcidiacono certainly earned the deal. His high basketball IQ, relentless play and hot shooting to begin the year helped keep the Bulls afloat while they dealt with backcourt injuries to Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine and then failed to get any production from Cam Payne in the first quarter of the season.
Arcidiacono wound up leading the Bulls in games played with 74 appearances, averaging 6.7 points and 3.3 assists in 24.2 minutes per contest.
He'll slot in fourth on the Bulls' depth chart behind Tomas Satoransky, Kris Dunn and Coby White. But there's a chance Dunn is on the move, with the Bulls investing in Satoransky and White over the last three weeks and re-upping Arcidiacono for three more years.
Dunn feels like the odd man out - it's unlikely the Bulls will keep four point guards - and Dunn, in the final year of his rookie contract, could be moved for cheap.
Zach LaVine is one of the faces of the Bulls and also isn’t shy about sharing his opinion.
LaVine did the rounds for a number of interviews for a promotion with CarMax and dished on several things Bulls related. One of the eye-catching quotes in an interview with FanSided was about Wendell Carter Jr.
“He was starting to get into a groove when he got injured man, that’s one of the worst things in all of sports,” LaVine said of Carter. ”He’s been in the gym working all year. He has great defensive intangibles as a rookie, especially for a big guy as a rookie. I feel like it’s always tougher for them, but he’s shown different little flashes to where he’s seemed above his experience level, so I’m really excited for him.”
LaVine himself has gone through a solid year-by-year progression in his career, with the exception of his injury-limited first season with the Bulls in 2017-18. If he thinks Carter can make the same type of progress, the Bulls will have a solid player soon enough.
Carter averaged 10.3 points and 7 rebounds per game before missing the second half of the season due to injury in mid-January. LaVine noted Carter’s defense, which was what impressed people most about Carter as a rookie. The next step will be improving his offensive game.
Carter is fully expected to start at center, especially considering he started all 44 games he played in as a rookie. Robin Lopez is gone, but Luke Kornet and rookie Daniel Gafford have joined Cristiano Felicio on the big man depth chart for the Bulls.
For more on Carter, check out our player preview for him as we lead up to the start of the Bulls season.
On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, ESPN senior writer and co-author of ‘Bad As I Wanna Be’, Tim Keown joins Kevin Anderson to discuss Dennis Rodman’s autobiography, the 30 for 30 documentary, and the impact of sports on a community.
0:45 Tim on the Rodman 30 for 30 and if it was an accurate portrayal of who Rodman is
2:35 If he knew how big ‘Bad As I Wanna Be’ was going to be when it came out
5:00 On the process of writing the book and getting Rodman’s ‘voice’ right
7:45 More on writing the book and getting Rodman’s words and thoughts in print
9:40 On Rodman’s reaction to ‘Bad As I Wanna Be’
11:15 On when Tim realized the impact of the book on Rodman
13:10 Tim on how the book impacted his own career
16:45 How Rodman came across as lonely in the 30 for 30 doc, is that accurate?
18:50 On Rodman’s legacy, what will he be remembered for?
21:20 On if Tim would like to do a follow-up book with Rodman
22:40 On Tim’s story for ESPN on Paradise High School’s football team and the impact of recovering from the devastating fire in 2018
29:35 On how sports can help a community recover from a tragedy
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below:
Bulls Talk Podcast