Today’s deadline to extend Patrick Williams puts pressure on Bulls

Billy Donovan, Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Preseason (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Billy Donovan, Patrick Williams, Chicago Bulls, 2023 NBA Preseason (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bulls had their hands full this summer, as they dealt out over $100 million in extensions to retain three core members of the roster: Nikola Vucevic, Coby White, and Ayo Dosunmu. Their work isn’t done just yet, however, as yet another starter is due for a contract extension very soon.

Today is the deadline for NBA teams to offer extensions to players in the fourth year of their rookie contracts, the last chance to tie up young talent before hitting restricted free agency summer. For the Bulls, this is particularly important, as Patrick Williams is eligible to receive an extension and could potentially draw a big offer if allowed to enter free agency.

10 players have signed hefty rookie contract extensions so far, including up-and-coming stars such as Anthony Edwards, Tyrese Haliburton, LaMelo Ball, and Desmond Bane. Today’s deadline is also why quality role players Deni Avdija and Aaron Nesmith have inked new deals in recent days. If Chicago’s front office wants to lock their future down sooner rather than later, Williams could be joining the club very soon.

The Bulls may have to finally dip into the luxury tax if they wish to keep Patrick Williams for the long run.

By all accounts, Williams seems willing to stay in Chicago moving forward… as long as it means he gets paid a sum worthy of a former No. 4 overall pick. As reported by ESPN’s Zach Lowe earlier this week, Pat is seeking a deal that could reach up into the realm of nine figures.

"“I’m hearing Patrick Williams wants big, big numbers for his next contract… like, starts with a 2 and isn’t $20M.”"

However, I believe Lowe’s wording may have confused many fans, as it seemed to indicate that Williams was looking for a deal north of a shocking grand total of $200 million. Williams’ play has clearly not warranted that astronomical price tag, so I believe this was simply a misunderstanding. It would make much more sense if Pat is looking for a deal north of $20 million annually.

A fair comparison for Williams on the open market may actually be a player he shares the same agent as. Atlanta’s De’Andre Hunter plays largely the same role for the Hawks as Williams does for the Bulls, prioritizing three-point shooting and being an on-ball defensive specialist. Hunter inked a four-year, $95 million deal last October, a number that seems right in line with Williams’ alleged asking price.

We’ll see how much truth there is to this story soon enough, as the deadline to agree to terms is 6 p.m. ET tonight. I wouldn’t fault the front office for wanting to see if Williams is worth the big money he’s asking for first, but in doing so they risk ending up having to pay him even more or simply losing him outright.

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