“When the news broke, my teammates, some of them cried. They were shocked. I’m very close with Rondae (Hollis-Jefferson) and he was hurt. Caris (LeVert) was hurt. The guys I was with from the get-go were hurt. But you have to move on in this league.”
This quote come from Bulls guard Sean Kilpatrick posted in a story by K.C. Johnson from the Chicago Tribune. Kilpatrick was waived by the Nets in December and the reaction from his teammates was heartfelt.
As the Bulls season winds down on Wednesday with a meeting with the Pistons, the Bulls off-season will start and their road to building a young foundation continues. Out of the all the free agents and team options this summer for the Bulls, Kilpatrick has become the most intriguing of the group.
The Bulls plan on bringing back David Nwaba and are going to work out a contract with Zach LaVine. There have been talks of a contract extension for Bobby Portis but he does have one more season of team control. The Bulls could wait it out. Other players that the Bulls will have to make decisions on are restricted free agent Noah Vonleh and Paul Zipser, who holds a team option.
Kilpatrick, 28, has burst onto the scene in Chicago. Averaging 15.6 points per game, Kilpatrick has proven he can be a scorer when given the opportunity.
The Bulls brought Kilpatrick in to reach the salary cap floor but also fill a roster spot when Kris Dunn, Zach LaVine, and Denzel Valentine were all shut down for the season.
After scoring 19 points in the forth quarter in the win vs. Charlotte on April 3rd in front of the home crowd, fans started to take notice of the 28 year-old guard. Whether it helped the tank or not, you had to give some respect to the young guy. He is playing for a roster spot everyday and have taken full advantage of the opportunity.
There is a lot to like about his game. He is shooting 50% from three in April and has shown some spark on the defensive end as well.
So could he be in the future plans? It’s hard to say. Right now, the Bulls have an overload of guards: Dunn, Lavine, Jerian Grant, Cameron Payne, Denzel Valentine, Justin Holiday, David Nwaba, Ryan Archidiacono, and Kilpatrick.
So right now, Kilpatrick could be the odd-man out despite his efforts in the last few games? Sure he could. After the draft and how things go over in free agency, the Bulls could bring him back but how does he fit in the rotation? He is not going to play over Grant, or Holiday. Also, the Bulls may draft a forward, stretch four type in the draft making the roster more complicated and loaded with shooters.
As good as Kilpatrick has played, I don’t see him fitting into the future of the team. The Bulls have plenty of guards as it is. The front court needs more a focus than the back court and that starts with the draft in June.