Bulls 2023 Offseason Report Card: Did Chicago improve?

Patrick Williams, Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls 2023 Offseason Report Card (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Patrick Williams, Billy Donovan, Chicago Bulls 2023 Offseason Report Card (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /
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Entering the 2023 NBA offseason, the Chicago Bulls had not a single draft pick to their name. No practical cap space to sign free agents. Zero significant trade assets at their disposal. More than half of last year’s roster was eligible for free agency. All signs pointed toward a potentially catastrophic few months for this franchise.

And yet… this summer has actually not been a complete disaster for the Bulls. The front office has had to get pinch pennies and get crafty here and there, but by all accounts, they’ve done far better than most people expected. Things aren’t over just yet, but I believe we’ve seen enough to do a comprehensive breakdown of whether or not the Bulls have gained ground on the rest of the Eastern Conference.

Taking into account the draft, trades, and all free agent signings made thus far this summer, let’s review and grade just how well the Chicago Bulls have fared during the 2023 NBA offseason.

Chicago Bulls Offseason Report Card: The NBA Draft

Bulls trade two future second-round picks for No. 35 overall

By sending their 2026 and 2027 second-round picks to get into the 2023 NBA Draft, the Bulls proved they’d done their due diligence to scout out talent even though they lacked a pick heading into the draft. Normally this is the type of win-now move that I would advise against as poor asset management, but considering No. 35 is likely to be better than the picks in ’26 and ’27, I think was an acceptable gamble and the front office did the best they could with practically no assets.

Bulls draft Julian Phillips with the 35th pick

With the 35th pick, the Bulls selected Julian Phillips, a freshman out of Tennessee. Profiled as a strong and versatile defender with limited offensive ability, I’m working under the assumption that Phillips was drafted as a cheap replacement for either Javonte Green or Derrick Jones Jr. Phillips signed a four-year, $8 million deal with a team option for the final season. I’m unsure if he’ll live up to the deal just yet, but I’m glad to see the front office learned from their mistakes with Ayo Dosunmu and locked the rookie up for the long haul.

Grade: C