Winners and losers from NBA free agency: Bulls continue to confound

Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers
Chicago Bulls v Indiana Pacers / Justin Casterline/GettyImages
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Winner: San Antonio Spurs 

I love that they got Chris Paul to throw lobs to Wembanyama for half a season until they flip him to a contender for more assets. 

The Spurs were also the sneaky winners of the DeMar DeRozan sign-and-trade, somehow getting a better player and pick than the Bulls. The Kings could stink by 2031, so that swap might pay off big for the Spurs. 

Those future picks should allow them to stack their roster around Wembanyama’s prime years, but they still added players who will help him now. 

Loser: Chicago Bulls 

I should say that I liked the signing of Jalen Smith, who is a good player on a team-friendly deal. Well done. 

Other than that, it’s pretty much been a disaster for the Bulls. Andre Drummond left for nothing after the Bulls could have traded him for much-needed draft assets. 

They got an always-injured player and two first-round picks for DeMar DeRozan, who they otherwise would have lost for nothing. This package barely clears nothing. 

They overpaid for Patrick Williams, giving him a deal no other team was going to offer, that is not only too much but inexplicably has a player option at the end of it. How did Williams have leverage to get a player option? This is a guy coming off a surgery who hasn’t gotten any better in four years. 

The Bulls bet big on potential and it may pay off but otherwise they lost two key players for nothing and have given a massive contract to a player that hasn’t earned it. 

So, it was a mixed bag for the Bulls, who did sign two young players and are finally rebuilding, but they didn’t maximize their assets and still have big holes to fill.