Which Team Cashed in During Free Agency?
Free agency, especially in the NBA, is a time where expectations are formed by not only the league but fans around the world. Some signings in the past have proven to be incredibly impactful, while others have not worked out as planned.
Below is the team I believe improved the most this offseason:
The Chicago Bulls have been a team that has arguably made the most noise this offseason.
To start things off, they pulled off a sign and trade deal for young point guard Lonzo Ball with the Pelicans. In order to receive Lonzo, Chicago sent back veterans Thomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young as well as a future first-round pick.
Considering the improvement Ball showed in his jump shot this past season, it is hard to believe that New Orleans was comfortable giving him away for not much in return.
Before last year, Ball’s only true weakness was his shot. Besides that, he seemingly did everything else well. His basketball IQ, vision, and defensive ability have all been off the charts. I anticipate Lonzo to improve even more these next few seasons into a borderline All-Star.
To back up Lonzo, the Bulls also got former Lakers guard Alex Caruso who has proven to be a great role player.
Not to mention, they were able to lure away DeMar DeRozan from San Antonio as well in a sign and trade deal. DeRozan has been one of the most underrated stars in the league for years now. I think he will be a great addition to Chicago’s team.
After all, he quietly averaged 21.6 points per game (on nearly 50% shooting) to go along with nearly seven assists for the Spurs last season.
Let’s not forget what the Bulls did at the trade deadline last year as well. They ended up acquiring All-Star center Nikola Vucevic and Al-Farouq Aminu in exchange for Wendell Carter Jr., Otto Porter Jr., and two first-round picks.
For the Bulls last year Vucevic avenged 21.5 points per game and 11.5 rebounds. He is a top-5 center in the NBA in my opinion and does not get as much shine as he should.
The hope for next season for Chicago is that their new revamped roster which includes Zach Lavine, DeMar DeRozan, Nikola Vucevic, and Lonzo Ball can deliver a playoff appearance for the first time since 2017. Especially since the play-in tournament remains, I see the Bulls having a legitimate shot of not only making it to the playoffs but potentially winning their first-round series as well.
Considering their core is relatively young, the experience the Bulls will gain together in the postseason will pay huge dividends for the team moving forward. I see the entire roster having the opportunity to gain experience and grow together for years to come.
Finally, Bulls fans have something to be excited about for the first time since the Derrick Rose era in the early 2010’s.