Chicago Bulls: Pat Connaughton is an offseason must-have

The Chicago Bulls will need to bolster their bench unit during the offseason. Milwaukee Bucks wing Pat Connaughton is a guy they should target.

It’s easy to focus on the star players in free agency that you want the Chicago Bulls to sign. Those are the guys that immediately swing the momentum of teams. High-profile free agents can turn middling teams into contenders without blinking. But oftentimes, there aren’t a lot of high-profile guys to go around. That’s why the lower-level players can’t be overlooked. They can still make a big difference when it comes to winning and losing.

The Chicago Bulls probably won’t be signing a high-profile guy in the upcoming offseason. They aren’t in a position to lure a top guy to come to their team. But there’s one looming free agent that might fly under the radar in the offseason, and the Bulls should do all they can to snag him. That looming free agent is Pat Connaughton.

The Chicago Bulls need to make an offer for Pat Connaughton

Statistically, Pat Connaughton isn’t all that special. In his five seasons as a pro, he’s averaged 4.7 points in 15.6 minutes per game. He just simply hasn’t done a whole lot statistically, mostly due to a lack of opportunity.

Connaughton has been in Milwaukee the past two seasons, playing alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, and he’s passed the eye test with flying colors. Again, the numbers don’t scream “superstar,” but when you watch Connaughton play, it’s clear he’s an impactful guy and someone the Bulls could really use on their roster.

At 6-foot-5 with a 6-foot-9 wingspan, Connaughton is best as a slashing wing — someone who makes his money cutting to the basket when defenders lose focus. Thanks to an alien-like 44-inch vertical leap, Pat also has no problem finishing around the rim. He usually thunders home a powerful dunk when he gets within sniffing distance of the iron.

The Bulls have an obvious lack of depth on the wing. Otto Porter Jr. is the only guy who’s been able to make a positive impact at that position, and he’s had a hard time staying healthy. Pat Connaughton is a guy who could step in immediately, bring the experience he’s learned from Giannis and Co., and help the Bulls win games. Is he ever going to be a 20-point-per-game scorer? I doubt it. But he doesn’t need to be. He’s a guy who won’t demand much money in free agency. He’s simply an affordable, winning player.

Connaughton also does a decent job on the defensive end of the floor. He’s versatile, smart and uses his athleticism and length to his advantage. Check out this play:

Connaughton does a nice job of moving his feet, staying in front of Shaq Harrison, helping contain Chandler Hutchison’s drive, and then (somehow) recovering and blocking Harrison’s shot. Oh, and he grabbed the ball and dunked on the whole Bulls team right after.

I’m guessing the Bucks have Connaughton in their future plans, but if they’re stupid enough to let him go, the Chicago Bulls need to swoop in and grab him.