5 hometown players the Chicago Bulls should sign before they retire

Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Taj Gibson, Joakim Noah, Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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Jalen Brunson. Chicago Bulls
Jalen Brunson. Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

3. Jalen Brunson

Jalen Brunson was a big talking point last offseason when he signed a 4-year, $104 million deal with the New York Knicks. Many thought that this may have been an overpay by the Knicks, especially since he had only one season averaging more than 13 PPG. However, New York got this one absolutely right. Brunson has developed into a star this season, averaging 24 points and 6.2 assists per game while shooting 49.1/41.6/82.9 shooting splits. He has been unbelievable this season and is quickly replacing Julius Randle as the top option on the team.

Brunson went to Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, where he was a dominant high school player. He set playoff scoring records and led Stevenson to IHSA Final Four appearances where he lost to Jabari Parker and Jahlil Okafor in back-to-back years. In 2015, Brunson was named Illinois Mr. Basketball and a McDonald’s All-American. He was a 5-star prospect ranked #16 on the ESPN 100, which led him to commit to Villanova.

The legend of Jalen Brunson at Villanova is well-known, as he was a starter on two championship teams in 2016 and 2018. He averaged 7.7 and 16.2 PPG in these two runs and was named National College Player of the Year in 2018, where he seemingly took home every honor.

Brunson was unbelievable in college, even being named College Basketball Player of the Decade by Sporting News. However, this only translated to a second-round pick in the NBA draft. Many thought that Brunson did not possess the athleticism and explosiveness necessary for point guards, and this caused him to fall. However, he proved everyone wrong and has been fantastic these last two postseasons, averaging 22.5 points per game in 25 games.

He has been able to take over the game when the pressure is on, and has shown that he is a winner. This is something that the Chicago Bulls need. The talent is there, but they do not have a guy that can consistently get the job done in the clutch. Brunson has the talent and IQ to do this, and if the Chicago Bulls are faced with an opportunity to acquire him, they have to do so.