The Chicago Bulls are finally on the verge of a rebuild after letting two way All – Star guard / forward Jimmy Butler go to the Minnesota Timberwolves to play for Tom Thibodeau once again in exchange for the draft rights of Lauri Markkanen, as well as a couple of interesting young guards in Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine.
With both Dunn and LaVine on board, the Bulls have a very intriguing backcourt for the long-term future, although LaVine is expected to be out until at least early February after tearing his ACL in the middle of this past season.
And with the Bulls also featuring some interesting prospects in big guy Bobby Portis and the sharp shooting Denzel Valentine, adding a couple of veterans to help these youngsters improve and grow as players become a crucial part of Gar/Pax’s plans for the foreseeable future.
Sadly, the Bulls are in quite a mess right now, as they don’t have a lot of money to offer to try and lure free agents, but if they wind up trading Robin Lopez as expected, they could clear some cap space to try and make some more noise during this offseason.
Besides, Rajon Rondo’s time at the United Center is pretty much over at this point, so the only remaining player with a high paycheck in the Bulls payroll would be Dwyane Wade, whose expected to mentor the young core while he approaches the sunset of his career, at least for a couple of months until Chicago buys him off to make him a free agent and try to chase another ring with a contender.
So, today we’ll take a look at the top 5 (real) options that would be very interesting to see on the Bulls for the next season as the Free Agency period approaches.
5. Rudy Gay
Gay has always been an extremely talented player on both ends of the floor, although his inconsistency and tendency to disappear when it matters the most has put a huge question mark over his head and his temper and winning mentality.
Nevertheless, he’s a proven scorer from pretty much everywhere on the floor, and it’s very unlikely that any contending team offers him a deal coming off a season ending injury with the Sacramento Kings, and considering how poorly Gar/Pax have fared in prior free agencies, we’d be safe to expect them to overpay for Gay as a high risk – high reward signing.
4. J.J. Redick
Redick is expected to draw a lot of interest from contending sides, although it’s very unlikely that any of those suitors offers him a lot of money, and that’s where the Bulls could be a right fit for him as they’re in desperate need of some shooting from downtown and could thrive with Redick off the bench or in small lineups.\
Still, this would pretty much be Redick’s last chance to get a big paycheck before retiring, so he’d have to choose between the chance of playing for a championship or for the money because we already have information that he will not resign with the Los Angeles Clippers.
3. Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari has been one of the most offensively talented players since entering the league several years ago, being an incredible shooter and a quite versatile scorer, but injuries have made him quite expendable at this point, so it’s very unlikely that any team is willing to take a risk offering a lot of cash in exchange for his services.
Nonetheless, Gallinari could thrive in Fred Hoiberg’s run and gun offense and finally take his game to a whole new level if he manages to stay healthy, providing a much-needed offensive boost for a Chicago Bulls team that was completely awful from beyond the arc during the entire season.
2. Serge Ibaka
Ibaka is on the same position as Redick at this point of his career, as he’s set to enter arguably the last free agent period where he’ll still be an interesting asset, but neither of the contending teams are in the position to offer him a lot of cash.
So, if he prefers the money instead of another run at the ring, Ibaka could go back to his old self in the United Center, locking down the paint to free Bobby Portis from defensive duties, as that’s the main liability in the youngster’s game, being the Bulls defensive anchor while allowing them to go small.
1. C.J. Miles
And last but not least, we get another sharpshooter in our list in CJ Miles, a proven veteran that’s made a name for himself thanks to his lights out shooting from beyond the arc and his consistency as a scorer.
CJ would definitely light the spark off the Bulls bench like Nate Robinson or Aaron Brooks did in the past, as an instant offense type of player that could lead the second unit of the Bulls while also leaving the lane open for guys like Valentine to develop in the starting lineup.