Unlike last year, the Chicago Bulls have been no stranger to this summer’s free agency period, already working to re-sign Nikola Vucevic and Coby White, and even bring in some new talent in the form of Jevon Carter. Hopefully, these moves will be enough to push the Bulls in the right direction next season, but there are still plenty of holes to fill and players worth signing to round out this year’s roster.
After the feeding frenzy we saw in the first two days of NBA free agency, it truly speaks to how large the pool of talent is in the league today when there are still so many quality players on the market awaiting a new deal for next season and beyond. Although they’re operating well over the salary cap at this point, the Bulls still have the chance to bring in fresh talent via the bi-annual exception, any unused money from the mid-level exception after Carter’s signing, and veteran minimum contracts.
With that in mind, I decided to recap the events of the first two days of free agency and compile a list of the best remaining free agents for the Bulls to target moving forward. Since we’ll undoubtedly see a few of these names sign deals with teams over the coming days, I’d like to first highlight a few honorable mentions that just barely missed the cut.
Mason Plumlee(signed with Clippers)
- Trendon Watford
- Terrence Ross
Malik Beasley(signed with Bucks) Mo Bamba(signed with 76ers)
- Dario Saric
Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s dig right into our list of the NBA’s top 10 best remaining free agents.
Here’s a breakdown of the best remaining free agents for the Bulls, starting with two of their own.
No. 10: Derrick Jones Jr. and Javonte Green, Bulls
I’m starting this list off a bit unconventionally here, by including both Derrick Jones Jr. and Javonte Green at the 10th slot. This is largely due to the fact that both DJJ and Green know the Bulls system, and would fulfill the same role as one another if they were to return to Chicago.
Both Jones and Green are great hustle players who offer most of their production by cutting to the hoop and attacking the basket in transition, crashing the boards, and playing stifling defense on the perimeter and low block. It’s hard to say who has the edge here, as Javonte had the more noticeable presence when on the court and is a far more reliable threat from three, but Jones hasn’t struggled with injury, has better physical traits, and is younger with plenty of time to continue improving.
Honestly, I’d be happy to see either one back in a Bulls uniform here, so they both deserve recognition at the top of this list.
No. 9: Eric Gordon, Clippers
As good as Chicago’s second unit was defensively last season, it was impossible to ignore their lack of offensive creation. Outside of the recently re-signed Coby White, no player on the Bulls’ bench could be trusted to score at will. Obviously, staggering the ‘Big 3’ helps alleviate this problem, but having more offense off the bench is never a bad idea
That’s where Eric Gordon could potentially come into play here, as the veteran has scored 12.9 points on a very efficient 39% shooting from deep over the last two seasons. Standing at 6-foot-3, Gordon’s a little on the small side of things if the Bulls intend to run him at the wing, but his veteran presence and sweet shooting stroke would really benefit the NBA’s worst three-point shooting team.
Update: Eric Gordon has agreed to a deal with the Phoenix Suns
Although Gordon is off the board, several other players could still fulfill the same archetype as a score-first role player for the Bulls. Keep an eye on players such as Malik Beasley, Terrence Ross, Lonnie Walker, and Will Barton.