Lakers’ Latest Cast-Off Could Be Another Win for the Bulls

Getty Sekou Doumbouya

Everyone knows the Chicago Bulls need a power forward. Head coach Billy Donovan has been getting it done with a smallish lineup, but at some point, Chicago will need to add some size if they want to contend in the postseason.

While the Bulls have some assets teams might be interested in (Patrick Williams, Coby White, Derrick Jones Jr., Troy Brown Jr., Matt Thomas and the $8.3 million trade exception) the key is to find a way to fill the void without parting ways with too many valuable assets. That begs the question: is there a free-agent big man available who could give the Bulls strong minutes at the 4, and perhaps even some run at the 5?

The Los Angeles Lakers recently released a promising young big man and former first-round pick in Sekou Doumboya, who might be worth a look for Chicago. After all, signing Alex Caruso has worked out beautifully for Chicago.

Doumboya will come cheap and he won’t turn 21 until December. There is a good and bad side to Doumboya’s youth. On the positive, he may have some uptapped upside.

He had brief opportunities with the Detroit Pistons and Lakers before being released, so this could be an opportunity for the Bulls to add a contributor for a small price. Who doesn’t like low-risk, high-reward player acquisitions? On the downside, Doumboya is still pretty raw. He looks like a willing defender with length and a pretty smooth shooting stroke.

At 6’9″, he has the requisite length and could be a solid two-way contributor. Still, there could be too steep of a learning curve for him from a systematic standpoint to fit into what Chicago is building. At the end of the day, the Bulls might have to ask themselves if there are any better options.

Sekou Doumbouya Flashed Some Potential in a Recent Blowout

For his career, Doumbouya is averaging just 5.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game. He’s only appeared in 96 games over three seasons and played an average of 17.1 minutes per contest, so the jury is still out on what he’ll be able to accomplish in the NBA.

That said, Doumbouya did flash some potential in a brief stint with the Lakers before he released. Take a look at the highlights of a 10-point performance against the Portland Trail Blazers:

Could the Bulls Fill the PF Void With a Little-Used Reserve?

The Bulls might also consider giving two-way player Tyler Cook some opportunities to play power forward against teams looking to take advantage of them on the inside. Cook is a 24-year-old, solidly built, 6’8″ 255-pounder capable of playing some minutes and the 4 or 5.

Cook is an explosive leaper and finisher with some potential as a productive catch-and-finish guy out of screen-and-roll opportunities. Because of his frame, he also has a better chance of holding his ground against physical post scorers.

Cook has only played in one game this season, and that was the loss to the Golden State Warriors. He had 6 points and 2 rebounds in that game. Perhaps Chicago might consider giving him more of a chance at some point this season.

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