While the Chicago Bulls made several splashy moves in 2021 by adding DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, and Alex Caruso to this team’s core, the Bulls were incredibly quiet in last year’s free agency period. After making no moves in three straight transaction cycles, there’s mounting pressure on the front office to make the most of this 2023 free agent class.
But with less than half of the roster already on guaranteed deals for next season, the Bulls will have a difficult time just trying to retain their own talent, let alone adding more outside help. The clock is ticking for Chicago to make the most out of this small window they’ve opened, so the start of the free agency period has to be the date circled on every fan’s calendar this summer.
Sure enough, it hasn’t taken very long at all for the rumor mill to start spinning out fresh news on potential free agency targets for us desperate Bulls fans.
When does NBA Free Agency begin?
The negotiating period for free agency will begin on June 30, when all players are allowed to openly discuss with teams regarding potential contract details. This is the day we will begin seeing news break of deals agreed upon. If any team discusses deals with players before this date, they will be punished for tampering. We saw this happen in 2021 when the Bulls broke the rules to sign Lonzo Ball ahead of the permitted time frame.
Players will have until June 29 to finalize any decisions regarding their player options. This is important because both Andre Drummond and Derrick Jones Jr. have player options, giving them the ability to return next season if they wish. If not, they can test the open market to see if another team is willing to pay more — although Jones Jr. did indicate he intends to return for next season.
On July 6, agreed-upon contracts can be officially signed between NBA teams and the free agents.
Which Chicago Bulls players are free agents this offseason?
The Bulls have a total of nine players set to hit free agency this summer, which leaves only six players guaranteed to return for next year. Zach LaVine, DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Patrick Williams, and Dalen Terry are all on contract for next season.
Nikola Vucevic and Coby White headline this year’s group of outgoing free agents, and whether or not the Bulls decide to bring each of them back will have long-lasting effects on this roster’s construction. Andre Drummond, Ayo Dosunmu, Derrick Jones Jr., Javonte Green, Justin Lewis, Patrick Beverley, and Terry Taylor will also all be free agents this summer.
White and Dosunmu are also restricted free agents, which means the Bulls retain the right to match any offer sheet they receive, with a few stipulations in Ayo’s case since Chicago does not own his bird rights. Additionally, Marko Simonovic and Carlik Jones are on unguaranteed contracts for next season. They can be cut at no cost to open up a roster spot at any time before the season begins.
Which NBA players are free agents this offseason?
This year’s free agent class is headlined by superstar talents like James Harden and Kyrie Irving, with several other players like Fred Van Vleet, Draymond Green, Jerami Grant, and Chicago’s own Nikola Vucevic expected to make a pretty penny.
Up against the cap wall now that Zach LaVine’s max extension has kicked in, don’t expect the Bulls to be in pursuit of any of the biggest names this year. That being said, there is still a multitude of quality role players and starters alike who could move the margins and help make the Chicago Bulls a playoff team once again.