NBA Free agency kicks off Sunday night at 6 p.m. ET and there will be plenty of action. The Los Angeles Lakers have $32 million in cap space and that is enough to pair a max deal with Anthony Davis and LeBron James. Will Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving team up in New York? Do the Raptors convince Kawhi Leonard to stay? Where will other players such as Kemba Walker, Jimmy Butler, D’Angelo Russell and Al Horford land? We will find out hopefully by this time next week.
As for the Chicago Bulls, they will not be in the running for any of these big name free agents. While they will have over $20M in cap space, John Paxson has stated they will look to add a few veterans to bring along their youthful roster.
The Windy City Chronicle staff has gotten together and answered some questions ahead of free agency.
Q: If the Bulls signed a group of veterans say Corey Joseph, Taj Gibson, and Wayne Ellington, would you support it?
Thomas Gibbons: This is not a bad group of veterans. John Paxson stressed after the season that they needs some veterans to help bring the young guys alone. With their $23 million in cap space, I see them dividing it among multiple players.
Johnny Hatelak: Not like there is much of a choice. The Bulls are limited to $23 million on the cap so there are no big time free agents coming to the Bulls. We know Jerry Reinsdorf will not consider paying the luxury tax for a maybe scenario. Besides, I’m more open to building the depth with versatile skilled players and dead eye shooters more now than I’ve ever been. Seeing how the league seems to be trending in that direction. The biggest example of it coming in the form of the Toronto Raptors who are built with a bunch of 2nd round picks and undrafted players. They did, however, have their top ten player in Kawhi Leonard something the Bulls are still trying to develop out of all their recent draft picks and trade acquisitions.
Phil Duh: I am all for bringing Taj back for the right price. He will be a good vet and mentor for both Lauri and WCJ. As for both Corey Joseph and Wayne Ellington, I would not mind them in Chicago. Will be affordable options.
Alex Patt: I think it is important to bring in a few veterans on this team. Whether or not they are ready to compete for a playoff run, the kids on this team need to learn from experienced guys. Taj Gibson has always had the reputation of being a good teammate and frankly the Bulls could use more guys that can help the locker room culture.
Jovanny Santiago: Honestly, those are the players I want the bulls to acquire. I feel those veteran players would help this young core.
Q: Are you all in on giving an offer sheet to Bucks guard Malcolm Brogden?
TG: This is tough for me. I like Brogden a lot. Former Rookie of the Year would be another nice addition to the young core. But it comes at a cost. The Bulls have been linked to Brogden for over a week now and Brian Windhorst at ESPN believes the Bulls are lining up an offer. In addition, this would hinder the rest of their spending. I think it is best for the Bulls to add multiple pieces and strike big in free agency next year or in 2021.
JH: No. Not all in. First, I have my doubts that the Bulls will come away with him without the Bucks matching anything he’s offered that the Bulls can give him. For one, I don’t think Brogden is a generational talent so I wouldn’t offer him generational money. It has been reported the Bulls are considering offering a four-year $80 million contract which will deplete their cap and leave them with little else to spend elsewhere. For two, that contract offer is doable for the Bucks who are already at a disadvantage with the Bulls as far as market appeal goes. They need to keep what they have. Three, the Bulls just drafted their point guard of the future. Why would they go for a top flight player that plays the exact same position to a large multi year deal? I’m not buying it.
PD: Malcolm Brogden is a good role-player teams will be happy to have but at what cost? I will only ok overpaying him if the team already has a superstar but at the moment the Bulls don’t have no superstar on the current roster. You also have to consider he have issue with his foot when he was coming at the draft and have a foot injury this past season.
AP: For $20 million like the rumors say? I will pass.
JS: No. I’m not all in on giving Malcolm Brogden an offer sheet. I don’t think he’s worth $20M a year.
Q: Would you welcome a Derrick Rose homecoming?
TG: This is another tough question for me. I have always liked Derrick Rose. How can you not? The youngest MVP ever in the league and not being around for the Jordan years, watching Rose was the best Bulls basketball to date. Rose will draw interest from several teams and while there is not a direct link to the Bulls, there has to be some interest for Rose will always call Chicago home. I think the Bulls will look at other guards but bringing Rose back is still a possibility.
JH: Sure. I love Rose as a player. His off-court stuff is disturbing. The fact that he is even in the conversation of being a party to a possible gang-rape is sickening to say the least. However, there was no convictions, and there’s enough of a lack of credible evidence to deny Rose the opportunity to come back home and help his hometown team make the post season and develop their youngsters into seasoned pros. He’s well liked around the league and it would help perhaps restore a little credibility around the league to perhaps bring some vets over in free agency.
PD: For the right price absolutely!
AP: Eh, I know he mean a lot to people in this city and he had a nice season last year in Minnesota but I feel like it would be a pure nostalgic move with no real future benefit. He is going to be 31 next year and has played in 76 games the past two years. 31 is not old but with his injury history there are risks despite playing in 51 games (13 starts) last year. No disrespect to the former MVP and Chicago hero, but I am not necessarily calling for it. Though I would not hate it if they brought him back on a small deal.
JS: Yes i would be very happy in having Drose back in a bulls uniform. I was very upset when the bulls traded him to the New York Knicks. If the bulls don’t acquire Cory Joseph I’ll give Drose a contract.
Q: Is Kris Dunn’s time in Chicago over? Should the Bulls bring him into camp to compete or is signing a veteran point guard showing him the door?
TG: I bought a Kris Dunn jersey two years ago. That showed how high on was on him. But with injuries and inconsistent play, I do not see him being in Chicago much longer. With drafting Coby White and looking to add a veteran point guard, Dunn’s time is limited. The Bulls front office continues to say they back Dunn but he is going to have a fantastic and injury free training camp and postseason to lock down a roster spot.
JH: Bringing Dunn back to camp is a no brainer. I have lost a little faith in him but competition may just finally be the kick in the ass he needs. He is a competitive kid so maybe the fact he’s not promised anything helps make him realize his potential. I think bringing in a vet point guard will and should still be part of the plan. One that can help develop Coby White and contribute now. However it ultimately turns out with Dunn at the very least you have a hard nosed on ball defender to bring in when you need physicality and someone to play lock down defense guarding 1’s, 2’s and 3’s.JH:
PD: In terms of future point guard, yes his time in Chicago is over. However, I wouldn’t be surprise he start at the beginning season assuming he still on the roster. If he does not start, he could see some run with the second team.
AP: I think Kris Dunn just does not fit in here now after drafting White. I think it is best to look for a reliable veteran for depth, but having Dunn in camp is also not something I am necessarily against. AP:
JS: I don’t think Kris Dunn’s time in Chicago is over. I think the bulls bring him into camp and have him compete.
Q: What are your thoughts on some other free agents that are in the Bulls price range such as Marcus Morris, Rodney Hood and Ricky Rubio?
TG: While $23 million in not awful for cap space, it sure does not get you a max player. But the Bulls will have plenty of options in the second to third tier market. Marcus Morris had a great last year in Boston, posting some of the best numbers in his career. If you were able to afford him and Gibson, that is a nice one-two punch off the bench. And longtime veterans to help the younger guys. As for others like Rodney Hood and Wayne Ellington, the Bulls could use some more three-point shooting off the bench. With the right additions, the Bulls could make a push for the playoffs if injury does not strike.
JH: I believe there are a lot of great value veterans the Bulls could bring in including the 3 names that were mentioned. Bulls do need some toughness both physically and mentally to be able to compete with some of these teams if they want to get in the post season mix. Particularly on the defensive end. A player like Patrick Beverley would be nice to have but he may go for way over market value as contenders may be willing to spend more to get them over the top. They also need shooting. Particularly three point shooting. If a guy like Reggie Bullock shakes free from the Lakers that would be a great target for this team. Lakers have his bird rights so as of now it’s probably likely he stays, but you never know if they’ll need to clear enough cap to sign a top flight free agent. With names like Kyrie Irving, Leonard, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and even D’Angelo Russell out there it’s possible he gets to hit the market. Dewayne Dedmon is another under the radar name to watch. He can shoot threes and uses his 7 foot frame to rim protect.
JH cont: Of course, my top name is Elfrid Payton. Only a hand full of teams need help at point guard and one of them is the Bulls. Two of the other teams, Phoenix and Orlando, have had him and let him go so it’s unlikely he’ll be a target for them so even less competition for his services. Bulls may get an amazing deal for a pretty darn good player at a need position. He has been around the league for five years but is only 25 so if he works out as the answer at point guard Coby White can play more 2 guard and Payton can be part of the core. Unlike with Brogden, the cost won’t kill you if it doesn’t work out that way. At the very least he could be that competition Dunn and White need to elevate their game. He and White can also be part of the craziest hair tandem the NBA has at the Guard position. Imagine the marketing potential there.
PD: All would be good additions. Other players the Bulls should target are as follows: Stanley Johnson, Reggie Bullock, Ricky Rubio, Wes Matthews, Gerald Green, Rudy Gay, Ed Davis, R. Holmes, Dedmon, Julius Randle, and Elfred Payton
AP: Marcus Morris could be a nice guy to have as an affordable, decent scorer. He can give the Bulls some three-point scoring and a veteran presence.
JS: I will be very happy with Rodney Hood. He’s a three-point shooter the Bulls need.