“One particular candidate to monitor…is Georges Niang,” wrote Michael Scotto of HoopsHype on June 29. “Niang is expected to receive free agency interest from the Bulls, 76ers, and Spurs, along with the Cavaliers.”
Niang, 30, averaged 8.2 points, 2.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists.
Perhaps most importantly, Niang plays with a level of toughness not common on the Bulls’ roster and is a capable floor spacer. The former No. 50 overall pick knocked down 40.1% of his 4.6 threes this past season both of which would have ranked second on the Bulls this past season while he has shot at least 40% from three in each of the last five seasons.
The 6-foot-7, 230-pound forward missed Eversley’s tenure by just one season. But Eversley’s relationships — one of the reasons he was hired — within the Sixers organization can’t hurt.
Niang just finished a two-year, $6.7 million contract.
Bulls Need Impactful Budget Options
That is key because the Bulls are going to be looking to improve on the margins if they successfully bring back every player executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas says he intends to.
But he’s also made it clear that he knows he cannot run back the same squad as he did this past season.
“We’re a 40-42 team,” Karnisovas said via the Bulls’ official YouTube channel on April 15. “We have to find solutions and tweaks to do better… it starts with me, how I can help (players) do better, and goes to players and coaches as well. We’re accountable for this record, and we’re going to try to change that this offseason.”
The only question is and has been just how far is he willing to go to make something happen.
Chicago is $27.5 million below the luxury tax threshold but only has 10 players currently under contract. But bringing back Ayo Dosunmu and Coby White as planned could eat away that cushion quickly and they would still need to add some talent to the roster.
The Bulls would benefit greatly if they could bring both Dosunmu and White back for the combined cost of their qualifying offers or roughly $13 million for 2023-24.
Otherwise, they would be pushing into the luxury tax which is unlikely.
Bulls ‘In Dialogue’ With Patrick Beverley
One of the swing pieces for the Bulls this offseason is Patrick Beverley. The veteran averaged 5.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 3.5 assists in 19 games with the Bulls helping to guide them to a 14-9 record that Karnisovas touted as a reason for optimism during his end-of-season media availability.
“The Bulls also are in dialogue with Patrick Beverley on a possible return,” wrote NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson on June 29.
Beverley said he anticipates a contract worth $13 million annually which would put the Bulls in a serious bind if they are set on bringing him back. He has asserted that they would have been better off with him for the entire season to be true.
We could find out early on if there will be a second act for Beverley in Chicago with the moratorium on tampering beginning at 6 p.m. ET on June 30.