The Patrick Williams contract looks even worse for the Bulls

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Three
Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls - Game Three / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The Chicago Bulls have had a shaky offseason as they try to pivot from being competitive to building around young players. 

Trading Alex Caruso was the first step, and if Josh Giddey ends up being good, it will be the right one, as he’s on the same timeline as the rest of the Bulls’ young players. If Giddey doesn’t work out, the Bulls will get panned even more for not managing to get a single draft pick out of OKC. 

Same with the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade, which came too late, netted the Bulls little and may not have even been necessary given that he just signed a deal much smaller than the one the Bulls reportedly offered. 

The Bulls traded an All-Defensive and All-NBA player and didn't get a single first-round pick. Not a great start to the youth movement.

Grade the trade: Bulls continue to botch everything with DeRozan deal. Grade the trade: Bulls continue to botch everything with DeRozan deal. dark. Related Story

Chicago drafted Matas Buzelis and re-signed Patrick Williams, the latter rewarded with a five year, $90 million deal that looked sketchy at the time and isn’t aging well. 

DeMar DeRozan’s contract makes the Patrick Williams deal look even worse for the Bulls 

Let’s first acknowledge a few things: The Bulls are paying Williams for what they hope he will be, not what he is. He averages 10 points per game and has only played 213 games in four seasons. He's only 22, so obviously the Bulls are hoping for more production value for their money in the future.

DeMar DeRozan got paid for what he has already accomplished, but 3 years/$74 million is a pretty good deal for a certified bucket who rarely misses games and is guaranteed 20+ ppg. 

The contract looks even better for the Kings juxtaposed against Williams’ deal, which only pays him $6 million less per season than a guy who is still one of the best scorers in the NBA. 

And who were the Bulls bidding against exactly? What other teams were going to offer Williams that much, especially with a player option in the 5th year that gives all control to a guy who hasn’t done much in the NBA.? The Bulls bid against themselves, and there is no reason that final year should have been a player option given Williams’ play so far and the market for him in restricted free agency. 

Much like Giddey trade, we won’t know if the Williams’ contract ends up being bad until we see the results. If he turns into a reliable forward who shoots at a high level from long range and defends, that contract could be a bargain. But you'd like a little more certainty and diversified risk (via draft assets) than that after trading Alex Caruso and DeMar DeRozan.

The Bulls clearly wanted to move on, but paid a high price to do it after squandering their trade assets at the deadline.