Arturas Karnisovas may be a mad man by definition, but there’s definitely no longer a question about his commitment to improving the Chicago Bulls moving forward.
After acquiring All-Star big man Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline, he acquired another All-Star in DeMar DeRozan and a young stud point guard in Lonzo Ball in seemingly one fell swoop.
But as much as free agency is about what players your team can acquire, there’s also the added element of not being able to afford players you want to keep.
And when you’re shuffling a roster to such a degree as Karnisovas is the Bulls, that couldn’t be more relevant.
In return for Ball and DeRozan, Chicago lost all of Garrett Temple, Thaddeus Young, and Tomas Satoransky.
All three played crucial roles for the team last season but were likely deemed expendable on account of the team’s lack of success, and the fact that they missed the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
And while he may not be the one ultimately missed the most out of that bunch, Satoransky’s absence will be felt.
He averaged 7.7 points, 4.7 assists, and 2.4 rebounds in 58 appearances with the team last season.
Satoransky: ‘This Is How The NBA Business Works’
Tomas Satoransky was told he’d been traded after he and the Czech Republic team were eliminated from the Olympics.
For someone dealing with that, as well as being told he’d been traded for the first time ever, he took it well:
I got on the plane as a Bull and after 16 hours I’m a Pelican…The timing was unfortunate, we were flying [when the news of the trade came], but we had Wi-Fi on the plane. But it’s something me and my family were prepared for.
Satoransky’s $5-million salary for the 2021-2022 season was non-guaranteed, so for months, there had been speculation about whether or not he’d be back with the team next year.
As far as what’s next, he’s excited about the opportunity that lies ahead with the New Orleans Pelicans:
I’m excited that I can be a part of the New Orleans [Pelicans] because I’ve heard nothing but good things about that organization. They have a young team full of potential which will be looking to make the playoffs.
Perhaps he’ll reach the playoffs next year, after failing to do so with the Chicago Bulls this season.
With the New Orleans Pelicans, he’ll play a large role behind newly acquired starting point guard Devonte Graham.
And the Windy City, well they’ve already nailed down their Tomas Satoransky replacement.
Bulls Replace Satoransky with Caruso
In his place, the Chicago Bulls will be rolling out Alex Caruso in the backup point guard slot.
The former Los Angeles Lakers sixth man signed a four-year, $37-million deal with the team.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first with reports:
Caruso, a member of the 2020 championship team, averaged 6.4 points, 2.8 assists, and 1.1 steals per game last year.
Until second-year guard Coby White returns from injury, the Bulls will be relying on him to man the backup spot.
Caruso will bring a defensive presence to the backcourt, as well the newly acquired Lonzo Ball.
Tomas Satoransky, however, is onto his next chapter in the Big Easy.