Chicago Bulls: Noah Vonleh returns on a value contract

Noah Vonleh Mandatory Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Noah Vonleh Mandatory Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

A former member of the Chicago Bulls 2017-18 squad, big man Noah Vonleh, will return next season on a value one-year contract.

The roster for the Chicago Bulls in Training Camp is starting to come together. They are getting the final signings in place to make sure that they put the best rotation out on the floor for the looming 2020-21 season. They started out with a few re-signings among impending restricted free agent guards and having an interesting night for the 2020 NBA Draft.

On draft night, the Bulls selected the former Florida State Seminoles freshman forward Patrick Williams with the fourth overall pick in the lottery. And they selected the KK Mega Bemax 21-year-old big man Marko Simonovic with the 44th overall pick in the second round.

The frosting on the cake for the Bulls on draft night was signing the former Kansas Jayhawks star point guard and undrafted free agent Devon Dotson. That was a nice get for newly hired executive vice president of basketball operations Arturas Karnisovas and general manager Marc Eversley.

Since then, the Bulls made a few key free agent signings. The two most notable of which involved the 34-year-old former Brooklyn Nets shooting guard Garrett Temple and former Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves power forward/center Noah Vonleh.

The most recent of those free agent signings for the Bulls was Vonleh. He reportedly (ESPN NBA insider Adrian Wojnarowski) signed a one-year contract for a minimum deal with the Bulls.

It’s not all that surprising that the Bulls signed Vonleh off the free agent market. He’s played for the Bulls before and he was with Karnisovas and the Nuggets for a very brief stint near the back end of the 2019-20 regular season.

In 36 games played during the shortened 2019-20 regular season with the Nuggets and Timberwolves (one of which he started in), Vonleh was efficient but limited in playing time. He averaged 3.7 points per game, 3.4 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.3 steals, and 0.2 blocks. And Vonleh shot 56.5 percent from the field, 20.0 percent from beyond the arc, and 78.1 percent from the free-throw line.

Vonleh is likely to fit in on this roster somewhere around the third spot in the center rotation, or in a similar spot at the four. At center, he would fit in behind Wendell Carter Jr. and Daniel Gafford. At power forward, he could play behind Lauri Markkanen, Williams, and maybe Thaddeus Young (depending on if the Bulls trade him in the near future).

This could be a sign that Karnisovas and Eversley are ready to get Cristiano Felicio out of the rotation. That is something that the Bulls fan base has waited for a long time now.

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Vonleh played for the Bulls in 21 games during the 2017-18 regular season (four of which he started in). He split that campaign between the Bulls and Portland Trail Blazers as part of the journeyman career that has already seen him play for six different teams.