Chicago Bulls: 3 free agent targets to improve bench next season

Chicago Bulls (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
Chicago Bulls (Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /
2 of 4
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) /

Scouting Report. Pick Analysis. Small Forward. Age: 23. 110. Derrick Jones Jr.. 3. player

Adding another high-flying great in-game dunker like the 23-year-old former UNLV Rebels small forward Derrick Jones Jr. to the rotation is a move that would get mixed results on the surface for the Bulls. But a rotation that has both Jones Jr. and rising star shooting guard Zach LaVine could add a lot of entertainment factor for the Bulls night in and night out.

Jones Jr. claimed a crown that LaVine has twice already, winning the 2020 Slam Dunk Contest. But there’s other value that Jones Jr. brings to the table outside of winning dunk contests and impressing with polarizing dunks in warm-ups and layup lines. He’s a decent shot creator from inside the three-point line and is improving rapidly on defense.

In each of his four seasons in the NBA, Jones Jr. improved his defensive box plus/minus rating, and his defensive rating was largely trending in the right direction.

And in 51 games played last season, Jones Jr. averaged 8.9 points per game, 4.2 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 1.1 steals, and 0.7 blocks, while shooting 51.4 percent from the field, 27.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 77.9 percent from the free-throw line. That allowed him to register a 0.8 box plus/minus rating, 0.9 value over replacement player rating, .150 win shares per 48 minutes, 3.9 total win shares, 60.9 true shooting percentage, and 124 offensive rating/108 defensive rating.

Jones Jr. could very well wind up as one of the best value find free agent signings for this coming offseason. The Bulls need to add some wing depth beyond the likes of small forward Otto Porter Jr. this offseason if he and Chandler Hutchison aren’t going to stay healthy.