The Bulls need a backup center that can spell Joakim Noah on a consistent basis and with just about every one of their bench players on expiring contracts, they'll need some new pieces to fill out their team.
Rip Hamilton's team option will likely not be picked up due to his injury history and lack of production, giving the Bulls some room to bring in a player who can contribute right away.
So who are the best available players for Chicago?
Chase Budinger (Season Averages: 41.4% FG, 9.4 PPG, 3.1 RPG)
At 6'7" and 218 pounds, Chase Budinger would give the bulls some size and length at the 3 while also providing some three-point shooting.
Budinger would give the Bulls some versatility off the bench. He has the quickness to play shooting guard and he can also move up a spot when Luol Deng exits the game.
He has a good enough shooting touch to be a threat from downtown (36-percent shooter) and he can take defenders off the dribble and attack the rim as well.
Budinger will come at a price, however. He's coming off of his rookie contract so he'll be expecting a larger deal. Still, the Bulls should be able to match that number, if they let go of Hamilton.
The hardest part in acquiring him would be convincing him to leave the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Budinger has expressed that he would like to stay with the club, but only if head coach Rick Adelman remains with the team as well (via Star Tribune).
Budinger would be a good piece to add to Chicago's second unit, but there could be some work to be done in order to get him.
Matt Barnes (Season Averages: 46.2% FG, 10.3 PPG, 4.6 RPG)
Tom Thibodeau would love a player like Matt Barnes—he plays tough defense and hustles, something the Bulls pride themselves on.
Barnes had the best scoring output of his career this year as well as his third-highest three-point shooting percentage.
He could serve as a spot-up shooter for Chicago, but more importantly he would add some tough defense to the second unit along with Taj Gibson.
Barnes is also a solid rebounder from the small forward position, averaging 4.5 rebounds per game in his 10-year career.
If the Bulls could convince him that Chicago is the place to go then they would gain a veteran with a lot of playoff experience that could come up big defensively during the postseason.
Samuel Dalembert (Season Averages: 6.7 PPG, 5.9 RPG, 1.1 BPG)
The Bulls need a backup center and this offseason the 6'11", 250-pound veteran could be their best option.
Offensively, he has a solid short-to-mid-range jump shot and can also do some work in the post.
Defensively, Dalembert can clog the paint. If he were on the floor with Gibson then the Bulls would have a solid interior presence, leading to blocked shots or turnovers that would allow the Bulls to push the pace and get easy baskets.
Dalembert is also a great offensive rebounder, averaging 2.6 offensive rebounds per game for his career.
It will be an interesting offseason for the Bulls.
They don't have a lot of cap room, but with the right moves they might be able to bring in some more good talent and add some depth where they need it.
Their moves could also depend on the outcome of their draft picks. If they go with a big man, then a guard or small forward signing during free agency will be more likely to happen and vice versa.
No matter which route they go, adding some frontcourt depth and a solid swingman or two will round out their bench and get them ready for a title run during the 2013-14 season.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!