Return or Burn: Which Bulls free agents should be brought back?

Ayo DOsunmu, Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls Free Agents (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Ayo DOsunmu, Nikola Vucevic, Chicago Bulls Free Agents (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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With over half of the roster not locked into a deal for next season, the Chicago Bulls are potentially staring down the face of a massive core turnover ahead of the offseason free agency period. Even if the front office wishes to bring everyone back, that likely won’t be a financially realistic goal. Sacrifices are going to be made.

But of the eleven players on the expanded full roster that remain unsigned, who is worth bringing back to run it back again next year?

Before we dive into the core players hitting free agency this year, let’s quickly run through the fringe members of the roster. Although the Bulls seem intent on winning now, being up against the cap wall may encourage Chicago to retain some of its own cheap talent as we progress toward next season.

Return or Burn: Justin Lewis

Touted as the best undrafted player in the class of 2022, the Bulls actually pulled a savvy move by signing Justin Lewis outright last season. Of course, they could never have envisioned that Lewis would promptly suffer a torn ACL injury. Although it’s unlikely Lewis ever fully realizes his potential as a two-way talent in the NBA, it’s a gamble worth taking. That’s what these two-way deals are for after all, I’m all for granting Lewis at least one full healthy season to test his mettle.

Verdict: Return (two-way)

Return or Burn: Terry Taylor

Terry Taylor is almost the exact opposite of Lewis, as his stature on paper makes very little sense for the role he fulfills on the court. That being said, he’s been far more effective when given a chance on the court than at least 95% of his two-way peers. We’ve seen how Memphis’ Kenneth Lofton Jr. has defied the norms of what’s expected from shorter big men. Whether or not it comes with the Bulls, Taylor deserves another chance in this league.

Verdict: Return (two-way)

Return or Burn: Marko Simonovic

Without a reliable shot, ample size to crash the boards, or defensive IQ to become an adequate anchor in the paint, Marko Simonovic is the exact anti-thesis of the aforementioned players. Marko does not have the potential of Lewis nor the current on-court impact of Taylor. With his contract unguaranteed for next season, the Bulls are much better off cutting Simonovic loose while they still can.

Verdict: Burn