Chicago Bulls 2018 Free Agency preview: Who is on our radar?

There are plenty of top name free agents in the upcoming 2018 free agent class. Who should the Chicago Bulls be focusing on? Throughout a series of articles, I will work on narrowing it down. First, let’s focus on who will be staying.

Sure, I would love to see Kevin Durant swish fadeaways or Lebron James power to the rim. But for the basis of this article, I want to narrow down free agents that are realistic for the Chicago Bulls to target – not just the superstars.

Deserving or not, there will be a few players coming back based on their contracts.

Cristiano Felicio is one year in on an overpriced 4 year, $32 million contract. Justin Holiday is on the mid-level extension, giving him $4.3 million next year. Chicago received the Pelicans’ 2018 first round pick and Omer Asik’s horrendous $22 million over 2 years in exchange for Mirotic. Lauri Markkanen and Kris Dunn have one and two years, respectively, on their rookie compensation deals. Jerian Grant, Bobby Portis, Denzel Valentine, and Paul Zipser are on team friendly deals and combine to make $12,222,506 next year. This leaves the Bulls with $40-50 million to spend on pivotal free agents this coming summer. Who will Gar/Pax choose to spend their money on?

Ultimately, Gar Forman and John Paxson need to be aggressive in signing leaders to bolster the locker room. Also, they need to add to the young foundation that’s already in place. They have been notoriously thrifty in the past. They can move on from that label by signing some big pieces. Then, the Bulls can start progressing as a talented, young team with a bright future.

While the Bulls will obviously not be able to sign every free agent, they need backup plans for each scenario so they can be fully prepared as an organization headed into the 2018-2019 season. Fans should be disappointed if the Bulls do not grab any of the good players in this summer’s loaded group of free agents. If the Bulls don’t sign any of the good free agents, maybe we should get the “#FireGarPax” trending again.