Chicago Bulls: 3 veteran stars to pursue in free agency

Mike Conley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Mike Conley, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /
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Danilo Gallinari (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images)
Danilo Gallinari (Photo by Kim Klement-Pool/Getty Images) /

1) Chicago Bulls veteran star free agent targets: Danilo Gallinari

The only player on this list that the Bulls could target in free agency to reunite with newly hired head coach Billy Donovan heading into next season is the 6-foot-10 and 235 pound versatile forward Danilo Gallinari. There’s little to no chance it seems that the Oklahoma City Thunder will bring back Gallinari heading into next season, and he’s an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Gallinari made a hair shy of $23 million during the 2019-20 season. And he is likely to command a price tag in that ballpark in this cycle of free agency. But the good news for the Bulls is that he would likely be able to be signed down for a short-term contract. This 32-year-old former first round pick of the New York Knicks in the 2008 NBA Draft could contribute a lot for the Bulls in the near future.

During the shortened 2019-20 regular season, Gallinari played in 62 games with the Thunder (starting in all of them). He averaged 18.7 points per game, 5.2 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.1 blocks. And Gallinari shot 43.8 percent from the field, a very solid 40.5 percent from beyond the arc, and 89.3 percent from the free-throw line.

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If the Bulls were thinking about doing something like retooling the frontcourt rotation, or finding a trade to part ways with either power forward Lauri Markkanen or center Wendell Carter Jr., then pursuing Gallinari makes a lot of sense. If not, then the front office would have to get a lot more creative with how to use Gallinari next season.