At this point in the season, I highly doubt the Chicago Bulls expected to find themselves sitting at 26-30 and in the 11th-seeded position in the Eastern Conference. After all, they managed to win an impressive 46 wins just last year and by all accounts were supposed to be a better team on paper this time around. If the Bulls wish to make any last-second improvements — like say, adding an actual point guard to the roster — to save their season, they’ll have to do so on the buyout market.
Goran Dragic, Deandre Jordan, and Tristan Thompson headlined last year’s pathetic buyout market, so it looks like we have a much more impactful class of free agents on our hands this time around. Thompson was even signed by the Bulls in a move that was intended to bolster the frontcourt depth, but his presence ultimately ended up being a non-factor.
If Chicago wants to upgrade via free agency, they’ll have to get things moving sooner than expected. After being traded to Charlotte and bought out, Reggie Jackson was a player I expected the Bulls to touch base with to possibly upgrade at point guard. As it turns out, he’s already agreed to sign with the Denver Nuggets after he clears waivers. Terrence Ross also appears on the move to Phoenix after agreeing to a buy-out with Orlando. Now is the Bulls’ last opportunity to make a meaningful upgrade in the 2022-23 season.
These five players headline the list of potential playmakers the Chicago Bulls could sign on the buyout market.
5. Derrick Rose
You’re probably sick of hearing it by now, but the truth is the hopes of a Derrick Rose reunion will never cease until the day he retires. In this case, I’ll let it slide, considering the slim pickings of the buyout market and the fact we’re not looking at an entire free agent class here.
If Rose is bought out of his $15 million deal with the Knicks and clears waivers, he’d undeniably draw interest on the open market. Rose would instantly become the Bulls’ best player at both driving to the hoop and also kicking it out, despite being older than any other member of the current roster at 34 years old.
A potential homecoming for Derrick Rose is always popular amongst Chicago Bulls fans, for better or worse.
Even if Rose does decide to forego the $30 million owed to him over the next two seasons to join a contender now, it’s highly unlikely he sees the Bulls as the team worth taking such a massive pay cut over. Chicago simply isn’t in a position where adding Rose puts them over the top right now.
Derrick deserves to join a contender that can help him win the first championship of his career. Look for a team like the Milwaukee Bucks to have an interest in adding Rose as the backup point guard. Adding a ring to his resume would significantly bolster Rose’s Hall of Fame case and ensure the league’s youngest MVP is enshrined in basketball’s greatest honor forever.