Bulls fans are overhwelmingly in favor of signing ‘big name’ free agent

Kostas Antetokounmpo, Chicago Bulls (Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports)
Kostas Antetokounmpo, Chicago Bulls (Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports) /

When I say that Chicago Bulls fans want to add a big-name free agent, I don’t mean washed-up former stars like Carmelo Anthony or DeMarcus Cousins, I mean it in the most literal sense possible. Get your tickets now because the Kostas Antetokounmpo hype train is about to leave the station.

After signing an Exhibit 10 contract to join the Chicago Bulls for training camp, the ‘biggest name’ free agent Antetokounmpo would soon find himself embroiled in a battle for a spot on the main roster. With undrafted rookie Justin Lewis already occupying one of the Bulls’ pair of two-way slots, all eyes turn to Antetokounmpo, Malcolm Hill, and Carlik Jones to see who will come out on top.

Whoever receives the last two-way offer will be allowed to play up to 50 games in the NBA, alternating between the main roster and Chicago’s G League affiliate Windy City Bulls. This system makes two-way players a great “break in case of emergency” contingency plan. However, two-way players need to be signed to a regular one-year contract if they perform well and their team would like to have them exceed the 50-game limitation.

Kostas Antetokounmpo has emerged as the clear consensus fan favorite to win the Chicago Bulls’ final two-way contract spot.

Call it wishful thinking if you want, but it’s not difficult to see why this potential signing would be popular amongst the fans. As it currently stands, Kostas Antetokounmpo is the Bulls’ only inroad to making a pass at his elder brother, Giannis, in the future.

As Giannis has already said so himself, who wouldn’t love to play for Chicago? Ensuring that the Bulls remain a competitive team and an attractive destination will be the top priority moving forward. From there, Chicago can just let the franchise’s storied legacy do the talking.

But as we know all too well, waving six championship banners and a Michael Jordan statue in the faces of star free agents hasn’t been a winning strategy in the past. That’s why bringing Kostas on board seems like a solid enough idea that has Bulls fans tantalized over the long-term implications.

In a poll we conducted on Twitter of over 1000 Chicago Bulls fans, Kostas brought in over a whopping 80% of the total vote. The incumbent Hill was the next highest vote-getter but still failed to make a considerable dent even after proving he could hold his own in spot minutes with the Bulls last season.

Of course, Kostas won’t land a spot on this year’s roster through sheer fanfare alone. His competition looks to be fierce, as Hill was a fan favorite in his own right at Illinois, while Jones was the big surprise of Summer League for the Bulls and looked very capable of being a solid reserve guard if given the opportunity.

Regardless of what the Bulls decide to do, they’ll still only have a minuscule chance at stealing a loyal superstar like Giannis away from Milwaukee. Still, there are far worse gambles a team could take with the 17th man on their roster. If it amounts to nothing, everyone will have forgotten about it all a month from now. But if it pays off? Arturas Karnisovas will go down as arguably the greatest executive in Chicago Bulls’ history.

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