No. 2: Grant Williams, Celtics (Restricted)
Slowly emerging as a key contributor on arguably the best team in the Eastern Conference, Grant Williams has steadily built up his market value by providing elite three-point shooting and stout defense off the bench for Boston. Williams has converted 40.3% of his three-point attempts over the last two seasons, an impressive clip that makes him impossible to ignore beyond the arc.
Williams’ presence has helped a great deal in stretching the floor for the Celtics so that their star duo of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown can dissect opposing defenses. Diving deep over the salary cap already with their core seven players, Boston simply doesn’t have the flexibility necessary to match competitive offers for the rising forward. This much is especially true after the Celtics traded for Kristaps Porzingis, leaving little room for Grant in the rotation to justify a big payday.
The Bulls don’t have enough cap space to sign Williams outright, but negotiating a sign-and-trade scenario that sends Lonzo Ball to a third party in exchange for young assets and draft capital isn’t off the table just yet.
Update: Grant Williams has agreed to a sign-and-trade to the Dallas Mavericks.
Following this news, the market for the other remaining players on this list is sure to get more competitive in the coming days.
Grant Williams and P.J. Washington are unquestionably the two best (longshot) remaining free agent fits for the Bulls.
No. 1: P.J. Washington, Hornets (Restricted)
If you’ve been reading my articles for Pippen Ain’t Easy for a while now, you’d know I’ve been firmly entrenched in the P.J. Washington to Chicago bandwagon for quite some time. Standing 6-foot-7 with a 230-pound frame, Washington has developed into a player with very few true weaknesses. He’s coming off his best season yet, where he averaged 15.7 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game. As a career 36.6% shooter from deep, he could truly threaten Patrick Williams for his starting gig at best, and serve as a fantastic sixth man at worst, if he were to join up with the Bulls.
Just like the aforementioned Grant Williams, the Bulls would not be able to sign Washington with cap space, and would instead be forced to orchestrate a sign-and-trade around Lonzo. This makes things substantially more difficult, but considering the fact that Charlotte is expected to bring back Miles Bridges while also being rumored to be in pursuit of Grant Williams, perhaps they’re looking to move in a new direction and would part with P.J. for the right price.