Highlighting Chicago Bulls' Top Free-Agent Target at Every Position
Unlike the summers of 2000 and 2010, the Chicago Bulls won’t have a ton of cap space this offseason. So that means mega free agents like Chris Paul and Dwight Howard aren’t taking their talents to the Windy City.
And you can forget about guys like Josh Smith, Andre Iguodala, David West and Al Jefferson.
So which free agents will the Bulls target this summer?
Jermaine O’Neal would be a nice backup for Joakim Noah and wouldn’t cost much to sign. Also, Matt Barnes would provide the Bulls’ bench with solid defense and outside shooting.
The Bulls will emerge as title contenders next season with the return of Derrick Rose.
Their core of Rose, Noah, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer and Jimmy Butler is definitely championship material. All the team needs to do now is add a couple free agents to the mix.
Point Guard: Nate Robinson
The Bulls are basically set at point guard. Starter Derrick Rose will be backed up by defensive specialist Kirk Hinrich, as well as youngster Marquis Teague.
If the Bulls had to have a target at the position, it would be someone who played this season with the team—Nate Robinson.
Little Nate is coming off a fantastic year, averaging 13.1 points per game in the regular season and 16.3 during the postseason (second on the team behind Carlos Boozer).
Robinson scored over 30 points three times, including his incredible 34-point performance in Game 4 of the Brooklyn Nets series. He impressively dropped 23 during the fourth quarter of that particular contest as the Bulls won in triple-overtime.
Not bad at all for a guy who made the veteran’s minimum.
Robinson will make a whole lot more than the minimum next season, though. That’s why he’ll most likely be out of the Bulls’ price range.
Shooting Guard: Marco Belinelli
Retaining free agent Marco Belinelli should be toward the top of Chicago’s wish list.
Belinelli had a pretty nice year for the Bulls, averaging 9.6 points per contest during regular season and 11.1 in the playoffs.
Belinelli was acquired last offseason to replace three-point specialist Kyle Korver, whom the Bulls dealt to the Atlanta Hawks.
Belinelli can shoot from the beyond the arc, but he possesses the abilities to handle the ball and create his own shot as well.
Starting 27 regular-season games and seven during the postseason, Belinelli will back up starter Jimmy Butler next year if the Bulls can bring him back.
Small Forward: Kyle Korver
The Bulls need a three-point shooter. Take that back, they desperately need a three-point shooter. The team finished the regular season ranked 21st in that department, shooting 35.3 percent.
Kyle Korver, who spent two years in Chicago (2010-12), would be the perfect free-agent signing for the Bulls. The 6’7” forward was the league’s second-best long-distance shooter this season with a scorching 45.7 percent. In addition, his 189 treys ranked fourth in the Association.
Korver started a career-best 60 games for the Atlanta Hawks this season. However, he would come off the bench behind starter Luol Deng if he returned to Chi Town.
While he isn’t a lockdown defender by any stretch of the imagination, Korver would certainly improve the Bulls’ second unit.
Power Forward: Carl Landry
Using the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer wouldn't free up a significant amount of cap space in which the Bulls could use to sign a big-name free agent like Josh Smith.
If the Bulls did amnesty Boozer—which is extremely unlikely—they could be able to use the full mid-level exception. In that case, the team would have enough money to offer power forward Carl Landry a contract if he opted out of his current deal.
Landry produced 10.8 points and six rebounds per game for the Golden State Warriors this season. He also shot a quite impressive 54 percent from the field.
The Purdue product helped the Warriors reach the second round of the postseason, where they were knocked off by the veteran San Antonio Spurs.
Landry would be a great addition to the Bulls lineup, playing behind Taj Gibson, who would replace Boozer as a starter.
Center: Samuel Dalembert
The Bulls could surely use a new reserve center.
Nazr Mohammed, who was brought in last summer to replace Omer Asik (now with the Houston Rockets), came up huge during the final portion of the regular season. Yet, free agent Samuel Dalembert would be a bit of an upgrade.
Dalembert averaged 6.7 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.1 blocks per game for the Milwaukee Bucks this season. In addition, he put up 14.7 points, 13 rebounds and 2.5 blocks per 36 minutes.
The former Seton Hall big man could spell Bulls center Joakim Noah for a few minutes a night. He could also take some pressure of a rookie big man if the team drafts one in the first round this year.