$62 Million Sharpshooter ‘Expected’ Bulls to Offer Contract in Free Agency

Arturas Karnisovas, Chicago Bulls

Getty Executive Vice President of Basketball Operations Arturas Karnisovas of the Chicago Bulls.

Heading into this season, Chicago Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas said he wanted to change the team’s shot profile.

The Bulls brought back the majority of the same roster from last season, though. And, while the additions of Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig should help with both players coming off career years shooting the ball from deep, the Bulls appear to have missed out on an opportunity to do even more to help their three-point shooting woes.

“Honestly, I was expecting them to come this summer with something,” former Miami Heat wing and Chicago native Max Strus said on “The Mid Show” on November 2. “I thought they were gonna … try in free agency to come and get me. They showed a little interest, but yeah, nothing.”

There was talk that the Bulls could look to reunite with Strus this offseason.

Strus signed a four-year, $62.3 million contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers as part of a trade.

He spent the last three seasons with the Heat, making a name for himself as a floor-spacer connecting on 37.1% of his deep looks in that span including 41% in 2021-22.

But the 6-foot-5 Strus began his NBA career, first with the Boston Celtics in the G League, then with the Bulls in 2019-20. Strus, who was a standout at nearby DePaul University in college, scored five points in two appearances, seeing just six total minutes with his hometown team before tearing his ACL and having COVID interrupt the NBA season.

Max Strus: ‘No Hard Feelings’ Over Lack of Contract Offer From Bulls

“No hard feelings,” Strus said of not getting an offer from the Bulls. “But obviously, it worked out for me. I’m doing well.”

There may be “no hard feelings”, but Strus was not shy about expressing joy over keeping his former team from the playoffs last season when the Heat beat the Bulls in the second round of the Play-In Tournament.

“It’s huge,” Strus told TNT NBA insider Chris Haynes after the game. “It does feel a little bit better against them, I’m not going to lie.”

The Bulls certainly could have used him in their 109-107 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on November 3, their first loss of the new In-Season Tournament. They were outscored 54-33 and got up 17 fewer attempts than the Nets did. Chicago also ranks 23rd on the season in attempts and 27th in three-point efficiency.

Strus is averaging a career-high 13.5 points for the Cavs this season.

But he is shooting just 29.4% from beyond the arc, his worst mark since he was a member of the Bulls in his rookie season. The Bulls and Cavaliers are both off to 2-4 starts to the season following losses on the opening night of the In-Season Tournament.

Bulls Lose Ayo Dosunmu for Two Games

The Bulls suffered their first loss of the day before ever stepping onto their See Red-colored court. Third-year guard Ayo Dosunmu was ruled out with an illness and will not join the team on their one-game road trip to face the Denver Nuggets.

Another Chicago native, Dosunmu is averaging 5.0 points, 1.2 rebounds, and 1.0 assists off the bench this season.

He re-signed with the Bulls on a three-year, $21 million contract in free agency.

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