The Chicago Bulls missed the playoffs after blowing a fourth-quarter lead to the Miami Heat in the final Play-In tournament game. Jimmy Butler got the last laugh against his former team, and the star went on to lead the Heat to an upset over the top-seeded Bucks. The Bulls were left sitting at home thinking about what could have been.
Chicago is facing an important offseason. Lonzo Ball just had his third knee surgery, and it appears he will miss the entire 2023-24 season. Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, Ayu Dosunmu, and Patrick Beverley are all free agents, and the Bulls are not projected to have cap space. They must find a way to upgrade their roster with limited assets.
Potential Chicago Bulls free agent targets with ties to Zach LaVine
7. Max Strus
Strus sunk the 2023 Bulls with 31 points, six rebounds, and seven 3-pointers made in the Heat’s Play-In Tournament win over Chicago. It stung worse when considering the 6’5 wing is from the suburbs of Chicago, and he played his first NBA games with the Bulls. They let him walk in 2020 after an ACL injury, and Miami snatched him up. Chicago is paying for that decision.
Strus has become a key part of the Heat’s rotation, and he averaged 11.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 28.4 minutes per game in the 2022-23 season. The 27-year-old is a career 37.1 percent 3-point shooter, and it will be difficult for the Heat to retain him this summer. Miami has a ton of money already committed in salary, and the 6’5 wing will be looking for a significant raise as he hits free agency.
The Chicago Bulls would love to get Max Strus back. They desperately need shooting after finishing last in 3-pointers made and attempted last season. He would be a fantastic fit, but can the Bulls figure out a way to bring him back to Chicago?