3 Former Bulls the team will regret not having around in 2023

Daniel Gafford, Spencer Dinwiddie, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images)
Daniel Gafford, Spencer Dinwiddie, Chicago Bulls (Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images) /
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For the Chicago Bulls, the story of the summer has once again been one of continuity and perseverance. Rather than looking for outside help to address the team’s issues, Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley are banking on internal development to cure any ailments.

Sure, Jevon Carter and Torrey Craig should hopefully prove to be good value acquisitions, but neither are earth-shattering moves that will shake things up in the East like we saw with the Damian Lillard and Jrue Holiday trades last week.

But for all this preaching of continuity, the Bulls actually haven’t done all that great of a job at it. Several promising prospects and seasoned veterans have slipped through Chicago’s grasp, simply because no effort was made to retain them. Among the Bulls’ biggest missed opportunities in recent memory, these three players stand out from the crowd.

These 3 former Bulls would have all been welcome additions to the 2023-24 roster.

1. Daniel Gafford

Drafted 38th overall in 2019, Daniel Gafford had all the makings of becoming a second-round steal for the Bulls. He immediately made a strong impression off the bench in limited minutes with his ability to protect the paint and crash the boards. His offensive game was a limited work in progress, but still clearly developing as he was particularly effective playing above the rim.

Unfortunately, Chicago squandered a great opportunity when they elected to trade Gafford away in the deal that brought Daniel Theis and Javonte Green to the Windy City. Allotted a larger role with the Wizards, it immediately became apparent Gafford was going to follow in the footsteps of Bobby Portis by showing just how much the Bulls were under-utilizing him.

The silver lining here is that the Bulls seem to have learned from their mistake by re-signing fellow 38th pick Ayo Dosunmu to an extension this summer. Still, it’s difficult to ignore the fact that the Bulls could really use a player like Gafford to back up Nikola Vucevic. With only two centers on the roster this season, the risk of being undermanned on the low block is only amplified further.