Does Marco Belinelli help the Bulls make a stride into the title conversation?
The Chicago Bulls are just a few solid pieces away from becoming title contenders.
This upcoming offseason will be tough for the team; the Bulls don't have the cap room to make any big moves, which will leave them with a couple of minimum salary vets.
The good thing is Chicago has its starting lineup all set. Acquiring quality role players to fill their bench is all they need to get to the next level.
Having a deep bench will play a big role in the Bulls' run for the championship next season. Acquiring players capable of filling each role and fitting their style of play will keep Chicago on the right track.
Adding a young center would help the Bulls now and for the future.
Whether through the draft or free agency, the Bulls need a backup center who can give them 15-20 minutes every night.
The Bulls could draft a center like Mason Plumlee or Gorgui Dieng if they're available when Chicago selects at the 20th spot.
Plumlee was a good scorer and rebounder, averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game his final season at Duke. Dieng was a solid all-around player, averaging nine points and nine rebounds along with 2.5 blocks per game last season.
A center like Samuel Dalembert would be a good free-agent acquisition. He has a solid offensive game, averaging 6.7 points in 16 minutes per game this past season.
Dalembert can also rebound at a good rate as well as block shots.
Joakim Noah's injury history is a concern, so having someone who can fill in for him and produce is key.
Budinger's versatility would help the Bulls' second unit.
Butler and Deng figure to take on a lot of minutes, but they'll still need someone to spell them for some time.
The Bulls' best bet would be to sign someone who could play both positions.
At 6'7", 218 pounds, he could also fill in for either Butler or Deng.
However, Barnes could be a difficult signing if the Los Angeles Clippers offer him a contract.
Still, adding a swingman to the second unit would help the Bulls keep some scoring and defense on the court when they go to a big or small lineup.
A defender like Tony Allen would be great coming off the Bulls' bench.
Since Tom Thibodeau's arrival in Chicago in 2010, the Bulls have been a poster child for defense. What better way to keep building on that than by adding another great defender?
A player like Tony Allen would be perfect for Thibodeau's defense-first style of game. In fact, his defense was once again rewarded this year with another selection to the NBA All-Defensive First Team.
It might be hard to get him away from the Memphis Grizzlies, but there's no doubt that Allen would make the Bulls' second unit strong defensively.
Former Bull Ronnie Brewer could be an option as well, as he is a good defender. If the Bulls are willing to look past his poor offense, Brewer could once again back up Deng.
Either of these players would give the Bulls a solid 15-20 minutes of defense and hustle off the bench, something Thibodeau reveres in his players.
Barbosa could be a good option for a three-point shooter for the Bulls.
One of their biggest needs going into the summer will be three-point shooters.
With Derrick Rose returning, his ability to drive and draw double-teams will open up a lot of opportunities on the wing and baseline for open threes. The Bulls will benefit from adding a few three-point shooters to the team, as it will give them more options offensively.
Leandro Barbosa is a career 39 percent shooter from deep, so he could be an option for the Bulls. However, his ACL injury could hurt his availability. He could remain an option once he is able to return, though.
Roger Mason is another option to consider. He has shot 38 percent from downtown throughout his career and had his second-highest shooting percentage in 2012-13.
Adding knockdown shooters will help spread out Chicago's offense and give it some versatility.
Chicago should consider Belinelli after his stellar season.
Marco Belinelli is singled out due to the fact that he can fill more than one need for Chicago.
He can play both forward and guard and can knock down the three on a fairly consistent basis. More importantly, he adds something most other options at his position can't: the ability to run an offense.
Belinelli can create for others, making him a great choice for the Bulls' second unit.
In the Bulls' series against the Brooklyn Nets, he showed how dangerous he was with the ball in his hands. The Nets had a hard time stopping the pick-and-roll with him and Noah because Belinelli is a threat to either attack the rim or pull up and shoot.
He also gives the Bulls an option late in games not named Derrick Rose. Belinelli showed several times during the season he was capable of knocking down a game-winning shot.
Belinelli won't be easy to re-sign, but the Bulls should do everything in their power to bring him back.