Chicago Bulls: Grading every personnel move of 2018-2019

Chicago Bulls (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by David Dow/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Waived Julyan Stone

Stone was the haul the Bulls got in exchange for Jerian Grant. At 29 years old and very unproductive in his NBA career, there was not much need for Stone in Chicago. With his contract not guaranteed for the 2018-2019 season, the Bulls made the move with the intention to cut Stone in order to gain a roster spot and save cap. The trade may not have been the best thing for the Bulls, but waiving him after the trade took place was absolutely the right move.

Grade: B

Waived Paul Zipser

Paul Zipser was the Bulls’ second-round selection in 2016. The German forward never found any NBA success, despite the flashes of potential he showed in Europe before being drafted. Unable to get his field goal percentage above 40% in two NBA seasons, the Bulls gave up on Zipser just two years into his contract and at the age of 23. His contract was not guaranteed for the 2018-2019 season, so the team did not suffer financially.

Zipser was not an NBA-caliber guy, however, the team was very shallow at the small forward position before the acquisition of Otto Porter Jr. at the deadline. It is a tossup whether Zipser should’ve been on the roster, but fully for the reason of positional need than his skills as a player.

Grade: C+

Waived Sean Kilpatrick

Sean Kilpatrick was signed by the Bulls at the end of the 2017-2018 season to a 3-year, $6.2 million deal with team options in 2018-2019 and 2019-2020. Despite a solid six games in Chicago at the end of last season where he averaged over 15 points per contest, the team declined to pick up the remainder of his contract.

Kilpatrick never really made sense for Chicago, as he is 29 years old and well out of the team’s time window. Waiving him did not cost the team a dime, as his contract was non-guaranteed for the last two seasons. All in all, this was the right move for the club.

Grade: B

Waived Omer Asik

Omer Asik was the downside to the Nikola Mirotic trade in 2018, as Asik carried with him an awful contract that paid him $11 in 2018-2019 and $3 million in 2019-2020. Although Chicago was/will be responsible for paying out all of this contract, keeping Asik on the roster did not make any sense, as he is 32 years old and not in the future plans of the team.

Grade: A

Waived Tyler Ulis

This move came as somewhat of a surprise. Ulis is a young guard from Chicago who was taken as an early second-round pick out of Kentucky. His size is far from adequate, but his offensive skills are solid. Ulis played only one minute in one game for the Bulls before being released in late December. He was on a two-way deal and was not taking up a roster spot, which is why the move was so puzzling. Why GarPax decided to move on from the former top high school recruit is unclear, but the decision is unlikely to haunt the team in the future, although it could have been a high-reward if he turned out.

Grade: D+

Waived Cameron Payne

Cameron Payne was acquired in the deal that sent Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson to Oklahoma City in 2017. A lottery pick 2015, Payne was never a fan favorite in Chicago. However, the guard got a lot more hate than he deserved. He was by no means the solution to the point guard problems being observed by Chicago, but he was never as atrocious as many made him out to be. It is very uncommon for a young former lottery pick to be waived, especially by a rebuilding team. It may not have been a bad idea to keep him on board, at least for the rest of this season.

Grade: B-

Waived MarShon Brooks

MarShon Brooks is a 30-year-old who played only 12.9 minutes per game on an atrocious Grizzlies team. He stated that he had no interest in playing for Chicago, and Chicago had no need for a player who is well out the team’s window of contention. Brooks was simply a salary equalizer and nothing more in the Holiday deal. He never stepped on the court for Chicago, and his minimum-level contract isn’t a bank breaker for the team.

Grade: B

Waived Michael Carter-Williams

MCW has already had his shot as a Bull, and it was evident from the very beginning that he would not be receiving a second chance, as the team viewed the cash as the main piece of the trade with the Rockets. Chicago was not in the market for a 27-year-old player, as he is well out of the Bulls’ window of contention. His cap hit was at the league minimum level, making it an easy call for the front office to move on.

Grade: B-

Waived Carmelo Anthony

Bulls fans vividly recall the summer of 2014, when the team was in heavy pursuit of superstar forward Carmelo Anthony. The hearts of Chicagoans were broken when he decided to sign a lucrative deal to remain in the Big Apple, and it would have been quite interesting to see Melo in a Bulls jersey, even if he is way out of his prime.

Realistically, however, Carmelo would serve absolutely no purpose on the roster. At 34 years old, a veteran eating minutes would most definitely not benefit the young Bulls. In addition, Anthony is rumored to be a problem in the locker room, which would be tragic for a young, easily-influenced group if true. On Anthony’s side, he would want to play for a contender to win a ring, which unfortunately he was unable to do.

In all, the decision to depart from Anthony before he ever stepped into the United Center was the right call.

Grade: B+

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