Bulls use bi-annual exception to sign Tristan Thompson

Tristan Thompson Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports
Tristan Thompson Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports /

The biggest addition by way of the free agent and/or buyout market for the Chicago Bulls so far this season emerged earlier in the week when it was first reported that this team was going to sign the veteran 30-year-old big man Tristan Thompson. After the Indiana Pacers parted ways with the former Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers power forward/center earlier in the week, the Bulls were pretty quick to move to sign him off the buyout market.

Thompson had originally landed with head coach Rick Carlisle and the Pacers after the flashy deadline week deal that saw Indy send star big man Domantas Sabonis to Sacramento. In return, the Pacers received some key pieces in the young standout point guard Tyrese Haliburton and sharpshooting guard Buddy Hield.

Yet, the move for the Bulls to officially sign Thompson off the buyout market is obviously a notable one. Thompson can help the Bulls occupy that backup center role that they were looking to fill at the trade deadline back on Feb. 10.

Chicago Bulls reportedly using their bi-annual exception to officially sign Tristan Thompson

And it now looks like the Bulls are officially using their bi-annual exception to sign Thompson this season. That came via a report from Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report on Twitter on the afternoon of Feb. 21.

Pincus also reports that the Bulls using this exception to sign Thompson means they won’t have it during the upcoming offseason.

This was still definitely a move worth making for the Bulls. What looked to be the biggest need the front office wanted to fill around the trade deadline is something they can accomplish without giving up any major trade chips and/or valuable draft capital.

Waiving forward Alfonzo McKinnie was the cost the Bulls had to pay to sign Thompson. And that was still worth it from the looks of it coming out of the All-Star Break.

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Coming out of All-Star Weekend, the Bulls are sporting a record of 38-21, good for a tie in first place in the Eastern Conference standings with the Miami Heat. Next up for Thompson and the Bulls coming out of the All-Star Break is a meeting with the Atlanta Hawks at home on Feb. 24.