Chicago Bulls might keep one of Shaq Harrison or Kris Dunn

Kris Dunn, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports
Kris Dunn, Chicago Bulls Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports /

There might be only one of the two best Chicago Bulls impending free agent guards returning to the team for next season, since money could be “tight”.

It is almost the time for the Chicago Bulls and their new look front office regime to start figuring out how they’re going to build out the roster for the upcoming 2020-21 season. The Bulls hired away former Denver Nuggets general manager Arturas Karnisovas to replace John Paxson as the lead voice in their front office.

The official title for Karnisovas with the Bulls will be executive vice president of basketball operations, and Paxson will move into a senior advisor role.

Then, Karnisovas hired the former Philadelphia 76ers senior VP of player personnel Marc Eversley to replace Gar Forman as the Bulls general manager. Karnisovas and Eversley also made a few moves to retool the scouting department and coaching staff thus far.

The most significant move they made to retool the coaching staff was hiring former Oklahoma City Thunder and Florida Gators hoops head coach Billy Donovan to replace Jim Boylen as the Bulls next head coach. Donovan is a proven winner that should instill a lot of confidence and energy in this rebuild heading into its fourth year.

And now that the front office and coaching staff largely look to be setup to find more success in the coming years, where do the Bulls turn next this offseason?

One looming task for Karnisovas and Eversley will be figuring out what to do with a number of impending free agent guards. Most of the guards hitting free agency this offseason for the Bulls are going to be restricted.

Two of the most notable free agent guards that the Bulls have to decide what to do with this offseason will be the 6-foot-4 combo guard Shaquille Harrison and fellow 6-foot-4 defensive stopper point guard Kris Dunn. A few other key guards hitting the free agent market this offseason includes shooting guards Adam Mokoka and Denzel Valentine.

But there seems to be a leaning already as to how the Bulls will decide what to do at least between Harrison and Dunn this offseason. According to a report from K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the Bulls might look to only keep one of Dunn or Harrison this offseason.

Here’s more on what Johnson had to say on the matter.

"I don’t see it likely that both Dunn and Harrison are back. Here’s the other thing about this offseason’s free agency: Money could be tight. You may be able to bring back guys on very team-friendly contracts."

Dunn played in 51 games during the shortened 2019-20 regular season with the Bulls (32 of which he started in). He averaged 7.3 points per game, 3.6 rebounds, 3.4 assists, 2.0 steals, and 0.3 blocks. And he shot 44.4 percent from the field, 25.9 percent from beyond the arc, and 74.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Meanwhile, Harrison played in 43 games during the shortened 2019-20 regular season with the Bulls (starting in 10 of them). He averaged 4.9 points per game, 2.0 rebounds, 1.1 assists, 0.8 steals, and 0.4 blocks. And Harrison shot 46.7 percent from the field, 38.1 percent from beyond the arc, and 78.0 percent from the free-throw line.

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The Bulls do have a really important decision to make this offseason between re-signing Harrison and/or Dunn. Both contributed value in their own ways for the Bulls during the 2019-20 campaign. It might come down to how the rest of the roster shapes up at the outset of this cycle of free agency, as to who the Bulls decide to keep.