Bulls and ‘Cheap’ Former All-Star Forward Called ‘a Fit’: Report

Getty Blake Griffin

The Chicago Bulls still need a power forward on their roster to back up Patrick Williams. Could 6-time All-Star Blake Griffin be the answer?

One Western Conference executive who spoke with Heavy believes there is a fit between the team and the 6-time All-Star, 5-time All-NBA selection.

Blake Griffin and the Bulls are an “Interesting Fit”

“He makes sense,” the executive said of the potential of Blake Griffin landing with the Bulls in a late offseason free-agent signing. “He’s cheap. He is going to throw his body around, take charges, hustle. It’s good to have a vet like that off the bench, I think Billy (Donovan) would appreciate that. They have luxury-tax worries, and that is holding them back a little. But he’d be an interesting fit there. He can play small-ball center. They got Drummond and Dragic, they might as well go get another old Net.”

Griffin’s best days as a pro are long gone. The 33-year-old is coming off the worst statistical season of his career. In 56 games with the Brooklyn Nets, Griffin started 24 times. He played 17.4 minutes per game, averaging 6.4 points, 4.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.5 steals, and 0.3 blocks.

Perhaps most concerning, Griffin’s three-point shooting dipped to 26% after he made 38% of his threes with the Nets through 26 games and 10 starts in the season before.  Ideally, any team would prefer to see Griffin’s shooting percentages at 35% or above to use him as a stretch big or even a small-ball 5.

Because Griffin has never been much of a post-up style big, his ability to make the perimeter shot is imperative to his effectiveness on offense. Defensively, Griffin has the big body at 6-foot-9, 250 pounds that teams would covet for the 4 or 5. He plays physical and hard, so those boxes would be checked, at least as it would relate to the 15-18 minutes per night the Bulls would be looking to get from him.

The Bulls’ Other Options at PF

In a perfect world, Bulls rookie forward Justin Lewis would be ready to step in as a big man capable of playing 15-20 minutes to back up Williams or to slide to the 4 if Billy Donovan elects to use PWill as a small-ball 5.

Unfortunately, the undrafted free agent who has shown some flashes isn’t likely ready for that kind of responsibility. There is a better chance Lewis begins the season with the Windy City Bulls than he slots in as Williams’ primary backup.

Elsewhere on the roster, the Bulls could continue to go even smaller at the 4 spot with Derrick Jones Jr. and Javonte Green. DJJ and Green provided surprisingly better three-point shooting last season than expected, .328 and .356, respectively. However, neither man offers the sort of dependable shooting that would be ideal for the sort of two-way presence Chicago needs.

When you factor in their limited size at 6’5 (Jones) and 6’4 (Green), there are even more potential handicaps to overcome. Without a question, there are some issues here for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to address before the start of the season, or even training camp.

It seems inevitable; a signing and/or a trade must be swung to solidify the Bulls’ rotation.

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