While the excitement of this year’s NBA Playoffs are still well underway, the Chicago Bulls have had plenty of time to begin arranging their plans for the 2023 NBA offseason already. If they want to return to the big dance and not be a lottery team yet again next season, it’s absolutely crucial the front office makes the correct moves to bring this team back into contention.
Navigating the offseason plan isn’t so simple, however, as the Bulls have three primary routes to improve over the summer: the draft, free agency, and the trade block. It’s impossible to know for certain what the front office has planned, but I believe we can use our intuition here to narrow things down. Let’s break down everything we need to know regarding the Chicago Bulls 2023 offseason plan.
Chicago Bulls team needs that need addressing over the 2023 offseason
Although their poor record may deceive you, the Bulls were actually an elite team in several areas of the game last season. Chicago’s elite perimeter defense helped compensate for Vucevic’s weak interior game and helped the Bulls post a top-five defensive rating. They cut down on unnecessary errors in turnovers and second-chance points while simultaneously being one of the best in the league in scoring off turnovers and in the fast break.
That being said, the Bulls were so awful in a few select areas, that it ultimately outweighed the otherwise solid fundamental basketball. Chicago ranked dead last in three-point attempts, three-point makes, and second-chance points this season, while also coming 28th in offensive rebounds per game despite a career year from Andre Drummond on the boards. This simply boils down to a misuse of the team’s personnel and even a fundamental misunderstanding of how to build a team in the modern NBA.
For that reason, here are the Bulls’ three biggest team needs for this offseason.
- Offensive Rebounding
Chicago Bulls outgoing free agents in 2023 Free Agency
- Andre Drummond (player option)
- Ayo Dosunmu (restricted)
- Coby White (restricted)
- Derrick Jones Jr. (player option)
- Javonte Green
- Justin Lewis
- Nikola Vucevic
- Patrick Beverley
- Terry Taylor
Additionally, center Marko Simonovic and guard Carlik Jones are on unguaranteed deals for the 2023-24 season. This means they are under team control for now, but could be cut from the roster before the season begins to open up a roster spot or clear a bit of cap room.
Chicago Bulls 2023 NBA Draft Preview
Unfortunately, the Bulls will not own the rights to any of their picks in the upcoming 2023 NBA Draft after their luck fell short in the NBA Draft Lottery. Due to the Nikola Vucevic trade at the 2021 trade deadline, the Bulls convey their No. 11 pick to the Magic and are thus now free from any future debts to Orlando. Chicago’s second-round pick is owed to the Wizards after the Otto Porter Jr. trade in 2019. Chicago does possess Denver’s second-round pick this year, but it will be forfeited as punishment for tampering to sign Lonzo Ball in free agency.
It’s not all doom and gloom, however, as this year’s class has a few players that look promising enough to either trade back into the second round or sign outright if they go undrafted.
Players the Bulls could pursue in free agency and the trade block this offseason
It’s been no secret the Bulls have been left scrambling to find a point guard capable of running this offense since Lonzo Ball went down with his knee injury. I fully expect filling this spot to be a priority for the front office this season. Here are a few players we could see the Bulls potentially target:
- D’Angelo Russell (free agency)
- Tyus Jones (trade, pending Ja Morant suspension news)
- Gabe Vincent (free agency)
- Anfernee Simons (trade)
Any of these players would help improve not only this team’s issues with playmaking, but shooting as well. Eliminating two problems with one stone has to be the goal when the Bulls are already up against the cap to begin with.
As for the rebounding problem, keep these free agents on your radar:
- Brook Lopez
- Jakob Poeltl
- Christian Wood
- Naz Reid