Bulls a Finalist for Recently Dumped Sharpshooting Big Man: Report

Danilo Gallinari

Getty Danilo Gallinari

With NBA free agency underway, the Bulls are looking to secure some help with their perimeter shooting and, if all goes well, add some frontcourt help along the way. One player could pitch in on both fronts: veteran forward Danilo Gallinari, who is said to have narrowed his choices to either the Bulls or Boston after he was bought out by San Antonio on Thursday.

Miami is also said to be in the mix for Gallinari, but according to a report from Bleacher Report, the Celtics are currently, “Gallo’s preferred landing spot,” though NBC Sports reports that the Bulls are “in the mix.”

There is some question, though, as to whether the Celtics will want to use the entirety of their mid-level exception, which is worth $6.4 million, on Gallinari, which could leave open the chance for Chicago to sign him. The Bulls will have more money to use and can offer Gallinari a better deal, if they so choose.

Gallinari turns 34 this summer and just wrapped up his 14th NBA season. He averaged 25.3 minutes per game in 66 games, notching 11.7 points and 4.7 rebounds. The scoring output was the worst since his rookie year.

Bulls Badly Need Shooters Like Gallinari

Still, for the Bulls what matters with Gallinari is not so much the scoring as the shooting, which is an area Chicago needs to address in the offseason. Gallinari made 38.1% of his 3s last season while playing for Atlanta and has made 38.2% in his career, and last year was actually a bit of an outlier for him, though he was still very accurate—over his last four seasons altogether, Gallinari has been among the league’s steadiest 3-point shooters, making 40.8% during that span.

The Bulls were a very good 3-point shooting team in terms of percentage—they made 36.9%, which was fourth last season. But they took an average of 28.8 3s per game, which was 30th in the league. Though star forward DeMar DeRozan is one of the most effective midrange weapons in the NBA, it is clear that in today’s game, the Bulls need to be more prolific from the 3-point line.

In May, Bulls president Arturas Karnisovas told Mully and Haugh on 670 the Score in Chicago that shooting was among the team’s top offseason priorities.

“Another year playing together, continuity, again,” he said. “I think we’re going to address some things in free agency. We need to get bigger. We need some rim protection, we need some shooting. So we’re going to look to get better a little in free agency and see what our final product looks like.”

Karnisovas has a history with Gallinari, having worked as an assistant general manager in Denver when Gallinari was with the Nuggets. Gallinari was sent to the Spurs as contract filler in the Dejounte Murray deal.

Bulls Still Hunting for a Big Man

As far as rim protection goes, the Bulls lost out on one major target when big man Mo Bamba opted to return to Orlando as a free agent on Thursday. Bamba had been a target of a number of teams beyond the Bulls, including the Lakers, Knicks and Heat.

Chicago also missed on potential target Isaiah Hartenstein of the Clippers, who signed on with the Knicks in a surprise move. New York is still expected to hold onto center Mitchell Robinson, who was long a player of interest for the Bulls.


Read More