The Bulls & Their Underrated Off-Season


The Chicago Bulls closed their season last year on a disappointing note as they missed the playoffs, once again. After trading for Nikola Vučević midseason, many expected this team to excel, with young stars Zach Lavine and Coby White. Unfortunately, they did not live up to the media’s expectations. This caused the Bulls front office to make some major moves this off-season.

The Additions 

The Bulls made a major splash in the first two days of NBA free agency, making some significant acquisitions. The first was a sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans, which sent Tomas Satoransky, Garrett Temple, and a 2022 second-round selection in exchange for Lonzo Ball. Alex Caruso, a shooting guard from the Lakers, was the next player they signed. Third, the Bulls made a sign-and-trade deal with the Houston Rockets, sending Daniel Theis to Houston. Ultimately, they signed DeMar DeRozan, one of the top stars within the free agency class.

Potential of the New Bulls

Lonzo Ball adds a lot to the Bulls and addresses a lot of their flaws. On the offensive side, he is a fantastic ball-handler and playmaker. Ball will assume the role of floor general, and he will most likely be the one to start and lead the attack for the frontcourt. He has the ability to be the defensive anchor the Bulls needed on defense. Ball will be willing to handle the tougher defensive assignments while LaVine focuses on pushing the offense. This is by far the most important move the Bulls made.

With $37 million over 4 years spent on Alex Caruso, it’s evident that he’ll play a far larger role in Chicago than he had with the Lakers. Fans of the Bulls should be ecstatic about this. His actual worth will be revealed on defense. Caruso, who can lock down ball handlers on the outside, may prove to be a good defender this season. 

Technically, the Bulls received nothing in return for Daniel Theis other than cash in the trade, but they benefited significantly from it. They now have a trade exception of their own, equivalent to the sum of Theis’ new contract’s first-year pay. It’s estimated to cost roughly $10 million, which saves them that money in cap space to acquire other players for depth. 

Demar DeRozan has aged admirably throughout his career. Since the 2012-2013 season, DeRozan has yet to score less than 20 points a game. DeRozan was the missing element in the Bulls’ lineup, which was already one of the best in the Eastern Conference. However, before his contract expires, there’s a potential he’ll start to regress. Regardless, he is a vital piece for this team’s success in the upcoming season and will most definitely elevate this team to a playoff level. 

Final Verdict

This was a tremendously productive free agency period for the Bulls. It is undeniable that now is the moment to win in Chicago.

Bulls Fans will find it fascinating to see this group evolve in the next few years.