Chicago Bulls: Offseason shows growth in free agency approach

Chicago Bulls (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Anthony Souffle/Chicago Tribune/TNS via Getty Images) /

For the past two decades, the Chicago Bulls struggled to secure big-name Free Agents, and at times made questionable signings. Now they’re switching things up.

Free Agency has long been a term that many Chicago Bulls fans associate with disappointment. Years upon years of swinging and missing on significant free agents. Shelling out exorbitant contracts for players who may not live up to their salaries, or who do not fit the team’s roster, or who may be past their prime. This issue had reached fever pitch over the past few seasons, with the ‘#FireGARPAX‘ movement gaining steady momentum.

However, this offseason has seen the Chicago Bulls have a fairly successful free agency, which revolved less around big-name recruitment and more on filling team needs. These signings were key to the team, and show how the Bulls have grown and evolved in their free agency approach.

Missing out on big-name free agents is nothing new for Chicago, as they’ve been doing it since the turn of the century. In 2000, the Bulls went into the offseason hoping to secure either Tim Duncan, Tracy McGrady, Eddie Jones or Grant Hill.

They were unsuccessful in this. They nearly got Kobe Bryant in 2004, and again in 2007. The Bulls were almost the site of an NBA superteam of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose in 2010 before the former two chose Miami instead. 2014 also saw them come close to securing star Carmelo Anthony before he opted to stay in New York. However, during this time the Bulls did make a number of less than ideal signings.

The 4 years, $32 million contract of Cristiano Felicio comes to mind, as does Dwyane Wade’s 2 year, $49 million deal, which was paid out after a single season. It was signings like these that somewhat displayed a level of incompetence within Chicago’s front office.

However, this offseason has seen the Chicago Bulls sign a number of key free agents, that fit what the team needs. Despite not being big names, they are players that will bring a winning attitude and address areas that the current team has been struggling with.

Thaddeus Young brings with him leadership, intensity and a defensive presence that this young Bulls team is in dire need of. Tomas Satoransky, as a 6-foot-7 point guard, provides a scoring touch and adds a dynamic lineup to the Bulls arsenal if they ever opt to play ‘tall-ball’. Finally, Luke Kornet adds depth to what was a fairly shallow Bulls frontcourt. He is a solid rim protector, who can also space the floor, step out and shoot the three.

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In looking at these signings, it can be seen that the Bulls went about free agency this offseason by trying to address what they saw as deficiencies in the roster. Unlike prior seasons, they did not get lost in hunting big names but rather looked to sign building blocks to beef up their squad and make it a more well-rounded group. They showed growth in their approach to free agency, and come October they will reap the rewards of this approach.