With the NBA Draft Lottery set to take place tonight, most fans will have their fingers crossed that the odds play out in their team’s favor tonight. For the Chicago Bulls, however, that seems like an unlikely wish to come true. In the event the Bulls do not move up in the lottery, free agency and trades will be their sole avenues to improving this offseason.
Considering the fact the front office appears committed to building around this core, I personally don’t believe that any splashy trades will take place until we see how the Bulls perform with a true point guard at the helm. That means free agency is not only the most realistic route worth exploring when trying to improve this team, but also perhaps the most impactful.
Projected to have a little wiggle room before rubbing up against the luxury tax threshold, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley must play their cards wisely if they want this team to bounce back stronger next year. That means they must avoid overspending for talent that doesn’t fit the Bulls’ system and long-term timeline.
These five players have all accomplished a great deal by succeeding in the NBA at various points in their careers, but the Bulls would be wise to stay far away in this offseason’s upcoming free agency period.
The Chicago Bulls have several holes they must address this summer, but that doesn’t mean they should be desperate to sign these free agents.
5. Jae Crowder
When the Milwaukee Bucks dished out five future second-round picks to acquire Jae Crowder from the Phoenix, they were surely hoping to get more from the veteran forward than they did in the end. He’d go on to play just 18 games and 340 total minutes in a Bucks jersey before becoming a complete non-factor in the postseason.
Crowder refused to suit up for the Suns earlier this year when he felt his starting role was being threatened by the emergence of Cameron Johnson. Ironically, Johnson ended up being dealt to Brooklyn in exchange for Kevin Durant, meaning Jae would have had no competition for a Suns team with championship aspirations had he just decided to play through it.
Instead, the Bucks dug up any spare change between the couch cushions they could find just for Crowder to average an uninspiring 6.9 points per game and look like a shadow of his former 3-and-D self. The Bulls also need shooting and perimeter defense, not just the idea of it. For that reason, the soon-to-be 33-year-old Crowder should remain far away from Chicago’s free agency radar.