With only weeks left until the NBA postseason subsides and a 2021 champion is crowned, the Chicago Bulls are preparing for what’s viewed as a crucial offseason.
Executive Arturas Karnisovas clearly showed the league that he and his front office are in win-now mode when they acquired All-Star center Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline.
In pairing him with fellow All-Star guard Zach LaVine, the Bulls opened a competitive window, albeit a slim one.
However they address the rest of the roster this summer will determine how long they have until the window closes.
But they’ll need cap space to make any status-altering moves, and right now, they’re not high on it. Chicago’s projected to walk into the offseason with somewhere north of $11-million in salary cap room.
It seems opening up even more space will be a necessary predecessor to whatever Karnisovas and the front office are planning. And the Boston Celtics might be the team to help them do it.
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Tomas Satoransky to the Celtics?
In his latest for Mass Live, Brian Robb thumbed through trade targets for the Boston Celtics.
They’ve got $11-million remaining of the Gordon Hayward trade exception that was created in a trade last offseason that sent him to the Charlotte Hornets.
Because of their own limitations in terms of cap space, it seems likely they’ll weaponize it, as they look to rebound from a disappointing 2020-2021 campaign.
Robb mentions Chicago Bulls’ backup point guard Tomas Satoransky as a target:
The 6-foot-7 guard would bring some needed size to Boston’s backcourt. He’s also a strong distributor although his high turnover rate is a tough sell. The Bulls could be looking to open up cap space for free agency so he could come cheap as a sixth man or a potential replacement at point guard if Kemba Walker is dealt.
Satoransky’s coming off of a productive fifth season, where he averaged 7.7 points and 4.7 assists per game.
And his $10-million salary fits perfectly into the Boston Celtics’ exception.
But can the Chicago Bulls afford to let him walk?
The Point Guard Situation Has Gotten Worse
Even with widespread reporting that the Chicago Bulls are point guard hunting this offseason, there was always a chance that Tomas Satoransky would be back with the team next season.
Largely because of his role as the sixth man, and how well he’s served as the second unit floor general.
But now, one can’t help but wonder how Coby White’s injury alters the equation for Satoransky and the Bulls.
The second-year point guard suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery just one week ago, and was provided with a four-month timeline for recovery, meaning he’ll likely miss the start of next season.
That being said, what happens if Chicago strikes out in free agency?
Rumored targets Dennis Schroder and Lonzo Ball could always opt to stay with their current teams or head somewhere else where winning a championship seems more within reach.
Satoransky can run the starting offense, he’s flashed that before already.
He played 58 out of 72 games for the Bulls last year, but held his own as a starter over an 18-game stint, where he averaged 9.3 points, 6.1 assists, and 1.2 steals per game.
Do the Chicago Bulls really want to volunteer to walk into next season without premium point guard insurance that they’ve arguably never needed more?
Without the makings of a subsequent move already in place, trading Tomas Satoransky, particularly into an opposing team’s cap space, doesn’t sound like a move that would garner Arturas Karnisovas’ stamp of approval.