3 crucial weaknesses the Bulls addressed in free agency

Goran Dragic, Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images)
Goran Dragic, Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /
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Goran Dragic, Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls, 2022 NBA Free Agency
Goran Dragic, Alex Caruso, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Cole Burston/Getty Images) /

2. Shot creation in the backcourt

I, like many others, was cautious and even a bit pessimistic when I first heard news break of the Chicago Bulls signing Goran Dragic. Instead of acquiring a forward to play behind Patrick Williams, why would a team full of talent in the backcourt dedicate yet another roster spot to a guard?

Now that I’ve had some time to reflect, it makes sense why the Bulls would want another talented guard on the roster in the event Lonzo Ball’s recovery doesn’t go as well as planned. There’s always the chance the roster falls victim to fatigue after being forced to play more minutes due to a thinned-out and injured rotation.

But more than anything, what has slowly begun to change my tune of this signing has been the realization that Dragic offers something almost no other guard on the roster offers. Outside of Zach LaVine, no other guard on the roster can reliably create their own shots.

Let’s take a look and compare the source of Dragic’s scoring output to the other Bulls guards. Since Dragic only played 21 games last year, we’ll be combining his stats with the 50 games he played in the 2020-21 season to provide a much fairer sample size that nearly spans the length of a full 82-game season. However, all stats from current Bulls players will still be from the 2021-22 season.

Percentage of 2-point field goals that were unassisted

  • Dragic: 70.5%
  • LaVine: 65%
  • Ball: 59.6%
  • White: 56%
  • Caruso: 43.3%
  • Dosunmu: 42.8%

This issue also extends itself beyond the arc as well, as Dragic has proven he can also create his own open looks from deep.

Percentage of 3-point field goals that were unassisted

  • Dragic: 18.7%
  • LaVine: 43.2%
  • Ball: 15.5%
  • White: 10.3%
  • Caruso: 7.1%
  • Dosunmu: 1.4%

This was actually a dramatically lower amount for Dragic than has been the norm throughout his career. He has actually created 31.1% of all of his 3-point field goal makes over the course of his career — an amount much closer to LaVine’s astronomical figure. This decrease was more likely due to small sample sizes while playing with three different teams than to an actual decline in talent, seeing as Dragic created 34.7% of his own 3-point makes as recently as 2019-20.

Even despite this dramatic drop for Dragic, he still easily clears every guard not named Zach LaVine on Chicago’s roster as a pure scorer. Couple this with the fact that Dragic is an intelligent playmaker with a very high assist-to-turnover ratio, and he could end up being a more dynamic threat for the Bulls next season than we ever imagined.