Chicago Bulls: 5 Available Free Agent Summer League Standouts to Target
Summer League play is over, and now it is time for the Chicago Bulls to decide whether to target some new players for the season roster.
After an offseason when the team lost Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson and Omer Asik, Chicago really needs some cheap replacements to fill out its once plentiful bench. In particular, Chicago needs a backcourt scorer, a backup small forward, a stellar shooter, and a defensive frontcourt player.
Here is a list of five Summer League standouts the Bulls should target and sign.
Malcolm Thomas, Forward
Summer League has a way of helping unknown players find their way onto good teams, and Malcolm Thomas is no exception. After starring alongside the San Antonio Spurs' Kawhi Leonard at San Diego State, Thomas was largely forgotten at draft time.
But he averaged 11.4 points and 12.4 rebounds for the Bulls in summer league play and earned rave comparisons to Bulls forward Taj Gibson. Chicago should be very interested, because the Bulls desperately need a tough rebounder who can switch between both forward positions.
Leon Powe, Forward/Center
Powe didn't wow the Bulls with his stats in summer league play. But, the former Boston Celtic is known for his tough defense and—as he showed in Las Vegas—finds ways to contribute on both ends of the floor that go beyond the stat sheet.
Equally important, the 6'9" Powe has experience playing both the 4 and 5 spots. If he stays healthy, Powe would be the perfect complement to Nazr Mohammad in a cheaper (but still deep and relatively effective) Bulls frontcourt.
Maalik Wayns, Guard
Wayns, the former Villanova standout scoring point guard, was once considered an elite draft prospect. But—despite establishing himself as a capable scoring point in college—Wayns went undrafted in 2012, and instead starred in the summer league for the Orlando Magic and Golden State Warriors.
The Bulls desperately need scoring in a backcourt that lost C.J. Watson and will be featuring the injury-prone Kirk Hinrich for 30-plus minutes per game. Wayns can provide valuable shooting and penetration off the bench and, if he sticks, will be a valuable third guard when Derrick Rose returns.
Kent Bazemore, Swingman
UPDATE: Bazemore has signed with the Golden State Warriors, so we can scratch him off of this list.
A personal favorite, former Old Dominion standout Kent Bazemore is a perfect fit for this Chicago Bulls team.
Bazemore, a 6'4" swingman who has the enormous arms of a center, is primarily known for his outstanding defense. He is the reigning college defensive player of the year and showed that prowess in Las Vegas.
Equally important, he contributed on offense as well and was particularly effective against Chicago; putting up 11 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 blocks in his lone game against the Bulls. That should get their attention!
If Chicago adds Bazemore, they will get valuable depth on the wing and a good swingman backup for Jimmy Butler and Luol Deng.
Adam Morrison, Small Foward
Long a punchline, Morrison deserves another chance at NBA success, and the Bulls should target him for their opening at small forward.
After washing out of the NBA, Morrison went on to star in the Adriatic and Turkish leagues. He retains his incredible shooting touch from three-point range and now complements it with a tougher, more penetration-oriented game and underrated defense.
Want proof? Morrison averaged 20 points and five rebounds while shooting 61 percent from three-point range in summer league play. The Bulls need a shooter at the swingman spot to replace Kyle Korver on the cheap, and Morrison is the perfect fit.