Chicago Bulls Offseason Report Card: Free agency signings
Jevon Carter signs a three-year, $19.5 million deal (player option)
I promise I’m not trying to overreact here, but when I say I believe Jevon Carter may prove to be one of the best value signings of 2023’s free agency class, I mean it. As a very strong point-of-attack defender and excellent three-point shooting threat — both in spot-up situations and off the dribble — Carter addresses two of this team’s greatest needs at the point guard position. He’s not the playmaker Lonzo Ball was for this team, but at a $6.5 million AAV price tag, you can’t have it all. Phenomenal value here nonetheless.
Torrey Craig signs a two-year, $5.37 million deal (player option)
After signing Carter, I naturally assumed Chicago had expended all of its good free agency karma. Little did I know that Torrey Craig would inexplicably decide to sign with the Bulls on a veteran minimum contract, despite reportedly receiving attention from contending squads such as Golden State and Sacramento. I can only assume a clear path to minutes and a player option for the second season were enough to give the Bulls an edge here. At such a low cost, it’s hard to fault this signing in the slightest.
Bulls sign Adama Sanogo, Justin Lewis, and Onuralp Bitim to two-way deals
I’m still a little sad to see Javon Freeman-Liberty go when he looks to be more promising than any of these three players, but when it comes to this collection of prospects, I think the Bulls have fairly well. Adama Sanogo recently led Gonzaga to a national championship, Justin Lewis has the body of a prototypical two-way forward and was touted as the best undrafted player of 2021, and Onuralp Bitim has been tested against true professional talent and could be a great add if his shooting carries over to the NBA.
The Bulls haven’t signed a player with their 15th roster spot yet
Although the Bulls still have their bi-annual exception and newly-acquired disabled player exception from the Lonzo Ball dispute at their disposal, Chicago has yet to sign a 15th and final player to the roster. Several interesting free agents remain ripe for the picking, but the Bulls inexplicably seem determined to duck the luxury tax at all costs once again. Although the Carter and Craig signings were very solid, it’s clear that they won’t be enough to push Chicago into contention, so this unwillingness to spend has left me incredibly disappointed. That’s subject to change if they do pull off a big move, but until then, color me unsurprised Jerry Reinsdorf has prioritized profit over winning once again.