The Chicago Bulls have an important offseason ahead of them after being eliminated in the first round of the NBA playoffs. The team’s success this season was largely a by-product of their busy 2021 offseason.
The Bulls were able to land DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso in free agency who were all key contributors this season. Chicago also landed rookie Ayo Dosunmu with the 38th overall pick in the NBA Draft.
All four of those new additions were a big part of the Bulls’ turnaround this season. With Chicago having a busy offseason last year, the team figures to be less busy this summer.
While the Bulls probably won’t be as busy this summer, this offseason could be just as important for the team. To maintain their current core Chicago will first have to re-sign Zach LaVine.
Free Agency Clue?
After the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs, LaVine revealed that he plans to enjoy free agency, but is open to re-signing with the Bulls. Some have speculated that those comments might mean that LaVine is leaning towards leaving Chicago.
On Wednesday though, a Chicago-based company announced that they have reached a new partnership with LaVine. In the announcement LaVine even specifically referenced Chicago.
“I’ve seen the demand for quality healthcare in Chicago,” said LaVine. “Becoming a brand advocate means I get to support the everyday heroes, the healthcare workers fighting to keep us well and living our best lives.”
The announcement drew a big response from Bulls fans on Twitter as some believe this means that LaVine will be re-signing with the Bulls.
It’s a fair point by fans to say that the partnership is not typically what you would see from someone who is planning to leave. However, another Twitter user pointed out that former Cubs’ third baseman Kris Bryant signed with the same company and then left for the Colorado Rockies.
Ultimately though this news could mean nothing and it could be LaVine just trying to give back to healthcare workers and everyday heroes. The Bulls though like their fans are definitely hoping that it means he’ll be staying in Chicago.
Areas of Concern
While re-signing LaVine is currently the Bulls’ top priority, the team does have other areas on the roster that they need to address. Chicago could use a rim protector and also have a lack of three-point shooting.
The first chance the Bulls will have to address those needs will be with the 18th overall pick in the upcoming draft. Chicago could look to draft a big man with shot-blocking skills like Duke’s Mark Williams or Auburn’s Walker Kessler. They also could look for three-point shooting through someone like Malaki Branham from Ohio State.
The Bulls won’t be able to address all their needs in the draft so they’ll have to get creative to improve the roster. They could look to sign a cheaper free agent or possibly try to swing a trade.
Ultimately LaVine’s decision is what will shape the Bulls’ offseason. Regardless this is an important offseason for Chicago if they are going to take the next step as a team.