Star free agent the Bulls could target instead of DeMar DeRozan

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat - Play-In Tournament
Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat - Play-In Tournament / Rich Storry/GettyImages

For weeks there has been speculation about what the Chicago Bulls will do in regard to free agent DeMar DeRozan and most of the thinking has leaned one way. 

Both sides have expressed interest in a reunion, though that would almost certainly prevent the Bulls from making many meaningful changes elsewhere without trading Zach LaVine, which may prove costly. 

The Bulls have reportedly made a short-term offer to DeRozan for big annual money that he turned down in search of more years. 

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If the Bulls can’t get a two-year contract done with DeRozan, then they may have to seek other options and there may be an intriguing one available according to a recent report. 

Chicago Bulls free agents: OG Anunoby 

Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports reported that OG Anunoby may test free agency. It seemed a no-brainer that he would decline his option and re-sign a fat deal with the Knicks, but that may not be the case: 

"...there was word circling among team officials at last week’s NBA Draft Combine that Anunoby’s situation with the Knicks is not as cut and dried. Perhaps those signals to rival teams will only help Anunoby elicit a larger dollar figure from the Knicks. But various teams left Chicago with the belief that Anunoby could reach unrestricted free agency and consider deals from other franchises in addition to New York, sources said. "

Anunoby is not a superstar, but he is a very good perimeter defender, which is something the Bulls need. 

He’s also younger than DeRozan by nearly a decade, just entering his prime at 26 years old. 

He’s a seamless fit on just about any team as a good 3-point shooter and versatile defender and probably won’t cost as much as DeRozan, at least not annually, though it would certainly take a long-term deal near the max to lure him to Chicago.

If the Bulls are going to splash out on a free-agent wing, why not Anunoby? He’s a player that can help them now and into the future, and while he might not be anywhere near DeRozan as an offensive player, his defense and 3-point shooting might make him a better fit for a team that is starved for both and he'd be a nice long-term piece to pair with Coby White.

It sounds as if the Bulls are going to do everything they can do to bring back DeRozan rather than lose him for nothing, but that cap space would allow them to pursue other guys, so it wouldn’t be a complete loss and is something they will have to consider if DeRozan wants more than two years.