Chicago Bulls: 5 Free Agents Perfect for Thibodeau's System
The Chicago Bulls went into this offseason with very little money and very little flexibility to sign players. Here they stand two weeks later with very little money and very little flexibility. However, the Bulls only have eight players under contract, so they will need to find players one way or another.
Most of these players will come via free agency. There are various players on the market that could fit a role on this Chicago Bulls team and help them continue to compete for a championship whenever Derrick Rose comes back. I chose these players because they would be able to play well next to Derrick Rose, but also because they fit well in the defensively oriented system that Tom Thibodeau has chosen to run.
Stats: 14.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG (Euroleague)
Andrei Kirilenko returned to the Euroleague last season due to the lockout shortened season, not his ability to find an NBA contract. Now that he is ready to come back, Chicago could be a top destination for him. He has made a living in the NBA by being able to do a little bit of everything on the court, and Chicago could use that.
Kirilenko would fit well in a Thibodeau system because of his length and ability to do a bit of everything on offense and defense, similar to Luol Deng. Kirilenko would also be a great addition because he is coming back from a stint in the Euroleague where he was able to be a primary scoring option. He would be able to take some pressure off of Derrick Rose and help the team succeed.
Stats: 10.2 PPG, 3.5 RPG, 2.2 APG
Hill would fit perfectly into Thibodeau's system because he is a player who is able to contribute on both sides of the ball effectively. He has some ability as an isolation scorer on offense and has the ability to lock up many different positions defensively.
Stats: 12.6 PPG, 3.2 RPG, 2.6 APG
O.J Mayo is a player who has long been linked to the Bulls due to their void at the shooting guard position. Mayo is a player who produced when he had the shot attempts as a starter but has dropped off after the rise of Zach Randolph, Marc Gasol and Rudy Gay.
Mayo would fit right in with Tom Thibodeau's system because he is able to contribute both offensively and defensively. He would have the freedom and the shot attempts to truly be able to be one of the players who Chicago would lean on offensively. He is also able to play solid defense against any shooting guard with his quickness and skill. This would fit well next to Derrick Rose and under Tom Thibodeau.
Stats: 11.4 PPG, 2.7 RPG, 40.1 3P%
Courtney Lee has been a player linked to the Bulls for the last two seasons to fill the shooting guard void. He is a player known for being a great defender, as well as being an excellent long-range shooter.
Lee would fit perfectly inside Thibodeau's system because of his ability to defend well, as well as his ability to hit the long-range jumper. Thibs is known for his defensive scheming that would only be helped by the addition of Lee's athleticism. Offensively, Lee has the ability to spread the floor, which can only help star Derrick Rose and newly acquired Marquis Teague and make both of their lives easier.
Stats: 5.4 PPG, 3.3 RPG, 0.9 BPG
Robin Lopez is the twin brother of Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez, but he has not been quite as successful during his stretch in the league. However, despite this, he is still a legitimate seven-footer and backup center in this league.
Lopez would fit with Thibodeau's system because of his emphasis on defense and his willingness to be a bench player. Since the Bulls look like they might lose backup center Omer Asik to Houston, it would benefit Thibodeau greatly to acquire a player who is willing to do the dirty work in limited minutes to replace Omer Asik.