At this point, what you see is most likely what you will get as far as the Chicago Bulls roster. General manager Marc Eversley said on draft night that he did not foresee any singular action that would suddenly turn them into a title contender presenting itself this offseason.
That could change at any time and there is some expectation that the Bulls will be involved in a big mid-season move one way or the other.
Which direction the season is going will go a long way toward determining what they do.
If they are having a successful season and remain in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Bulls will need to find veteran reinforcements for an extended postseason run. Ideally, they would be able to add one with plenty of experience in such situations. There might be an option that is readily available too.
Bulls Could Take Advantage of PHX
A team such as the Bulls that is short on tradeable assets must know when to take advantage of a bargain. In sports, that usually means taking advantage of teams looking to tank. We already know the Bulls’ aversion to the luxury tax will keep them out of many potential deals. But, they could take advantage of another type of fire sale.
The Phoenix Suns are on the market in the wake of team governor Robert Sarver’s decision to sell in light of his suspension for unethical behavior. They open training camp on September 27 but they will apparently be down a player in forward Jae Crowder.
That is where the Bulls could step in.
Earlier this summer, the 10-year veteran shared a tweet that many felt was also about his Suns future which is in question as he heads into the final year of a three-year, $29 million deal.
“CHANGE IS INEVITABLE.. GROWTH IS OPTIONAL.!! I BELIEVE ITS TIME FOR A CHANGE… I WANNA CONTINUE GROWING.!”
Perhaps he can do that while bringing some toughness to the Bulls.
The Bulls could trade Coby White along with one of Javonte Green or Marko Simonovic for Crowder while remaining under the luxury tax.
Crowder on the Bulls
Crowder, 32, averaged 9.4 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 1.9 assists for the Suns last season. There was some chatter that he was fading after he shot just 34.8% from downtown. And he has just two seasons shooting the long ball above 35% in his career; most recently in 2021 when he shot 38.9% on 6.3 attempts per game.
The 6-foot-6 forward did shoot over 36% on catch-and-shoot threes in the regular season. But the postseason was rough as Crowder could only knock down 30% of his threes overall and 29% on catch-and-shoot looks.
However, he brings value in other ways than an ability to stretch the floor.
As for talk of Crowder’s defense falling off, he still ranked in the 64th percentile last season, per Cleaning the Glass.
Only Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso can boast that among the Bulls’ rotation players.
Bulls Need Defense, Toughness
Getting Patrick Williams for a full season will be a major boon for the Bulls if he stays healthy this season. But they are still thin behind him and Crowder offers all of the things a team with playoff aspirations should be targeting.
The Bulls are limiting themselves by avoiding the luxury tax but they are not without options.
It might have to be closer to the deadline. But Crowder, who started all 67 of his appearances last season, could follow a similar path to DeMar DeRozan and find a new NBA life with the Bulls.