The Chicago Bulls could have had Rudy Gobert, according to The Athletic’s Zach Harper. The long-time NBA writer was a guest on 670 The Score’s Bernstein and Holmes show discussing the Bulls’ offseason moves and the ones that weren’t made.
The Bulls were rumored to be engaged in trade talks to acquire Gobert in a trade with the Utah Jazz. Harper told the show “If they were willing to include Patrick Williams in the deal..it was gonna get done.”
Harper also mentioned the Bulls weren’t willing to give up the four first-round picks that the Minnesota Timberwolves surrendered to get Gobert in the Twin Cities.
The Bulls needed an upgrade on the defensive end from a rim protection standpoint, but the cost proved to be too steep for Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley. As it stands, the Bulls resorted to less-splashy moves to add veterans like Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic.
What Did the Bulls Get in Andre Drummond?
The Bulls signed Drummond early in the free-agent process. The two-time All-Star has won 4 rebounding titles and made an All-NBA team in his career.
After years of being a starter with the Detroit Pistons, Drummond has settled nicely into a backup center role and spot starter. Between the Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets last season, Drummond averaged 7.9 points, 9.3 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 0.9 blocked shots while playing 19.7 minutes per game between the two stops.
Drummond gives the Bulls a much-needed upgrade in the frontcourt off the bench over Tony Bradley. Drummond is also a physical presence that can provide an inside presence on both ends of the floor.
On offense, Drummond will give the Bulls another scoring option in the paint on pick-and-rolls, and he’s a bail-out resource for DeMar DeRozan’s mid-range attack. Drummond is a decent finisher around the basket and has worked to improve his free throw shooting over the years, though it is still not a strength of his game.
He’s a career 52.1 percent shooter from the foul line. That’s something that needs to be taken into account when he’s on the floor.
What Did the Bulls Get in Goran Dragic?
Dragic gives the Bulls another scoring option in the backcourt. He can play both point guard and shooting guard, which will give the Bulls some flexibility in the backcourt.
On offense, Dragic is a good scorer and playmaker. He can get his own shot and create for others. He’s also a good three-point shooter (36% career), which will help space the floor for the Bulls.
Defensively, Dragic is not known as a great defender, but he’s smart on that end of the floor and won’t be as much of a liability as Coby White was with some of his head-scratching decisions contesting jump shot shooters.
The biggest concern with Dragic is his age and health. At 36, he’s already on the downside of his career and he only played in 21 games last season between the Toronto Raptors and Nets.
The Bulls will need to be careful with his minutes during the season to make sure he’s fresh for what the team hopes to be a lengthy playoff run.
Are the Bulls Done Adding Players to Their 2022-23 Roster?
While the Bulls have made only minor moves to improve their roster for the 2022-23 season, they may not be done tinkering with their roster. The Bulls have been linked to a few other players, including Vasilije Micic and Montrezl Harrell.
Micic is a 28-year-old guard from Serbia whose rights belong to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Micic averaged 18.7 points, 4.5 assists, and 4.5 rebounds per game this past season for Anadolu Efes of the Euroleague.
Harrell is a 28-year-old forward/center and former Sixth Man of the Year who finished up the 2021-22 season with the Charlotte Hornets averaging 13 points, 6 rebounds and 0.6 blocked shots per game between the Charlotte and Washington.
Unfortunately, Harrell has some legal issues stemming from a June arrest for felony drug possession after he was pulled over with “three pounds of marijuana in vacuum sealed bags.” Otherwise, he might already be signed elsewhere.
Both players would add great depth and experience to the Bulls’ roster overall.