Three players Bulls could add on veterans minimum deals
Michael McLoone - USA Today Sports

Three players Bulls could add on veterans minimum deals

by - Senior Writer -

With the Summer Leagues officially over and teams getting ready for training camp in just over a month, it is back to the NBA offseason, where the Bulls still have work to do. Despite getting an extra 10 million dollars from Lonzo Ball, the Bulls currently have anywhere from two to four roster spots that must be filled before training camp breaks.

A lot of that is contingent on the front office as to whether or not they bring back Carlik Jones or Ayo Dosunmun, but either way, this team needs to fill in some spots. Some would argue that Jevon Freeman-Liberty earned a spot this summer, and maybe he did. Still, they need to bring in a few more players to round out their roster for next season.

With the decision to bring back both Nikola Vucevic and Coby White, it appears the Bulls are content with running it back one more year. That could mean guys like Derrick Jones Jr and Javonte Green find a way back on this roster, as the longer they go unsigned, the more likely they will have to settle for a veteran's minimum deal. The problem I see with that is Jones Jr declined his option while Green was hurt most of last year, and both appear ready for a different scenery.

If both of them are off the table, what does that leave the Bulls for options? Well, the Bulls have plenty of options, and some of those options may surprise you at this point. Looking at the remaining free agents, you could break them down into three categories: the young guns, locker room guys, and potential playmakers.

Granted, several players in each category could fill this roster, but I want to highlight one player in each category as someone the Bulls could bring in on a veteran's minimum to give this team a chance next season.

Young Guns: Looking at some of the young guns across the league, there are few options for the Bulls, but one intriguing name is Hamidou Diallo. The Bulls are very familiar with the SG after having to face off with him when he was with the Detroit Pistons.

Diallo is still a young player and will turn 25 this season. Like most young players, he has shown plenty of flashes on the court but has also seen his career filled with inconsistencies. If anyone were to come in and fill the Jones Jr or Green roles, Diallo would be a great option, as he averaged just under 10 PPG last season.

He’s an extremely springy wing who can explode into the paint and has finished an increasingly high clip inside. That said, most of his value will likely come on the defensive end. The Bulls love to have that, as they do a great job finding matchup nightmares on the defensive end.

Locker Room Leader: One of the most overlooked positions on an NBA team isn't even on the floor. I am talking about the locker room leader, as every team needs one. Sure, the Bulls have one in DeMar DeRozan, but wouldn't it be nice to have another one helping to keep this team together during the tough times?

That is where Wesley Matthews or Terrance Ross come into play, as both would be perfect bench additions to this team. Starting with Matthews, this is a veteran player who is 37 years old but knows how to win. Coming off a season where he only shot 36.2% from the field, you can see his playing days are ending.

However, he is still a great three-point shooter, which the Bulls need more of, and he is a player that could mentor many of these young guys before he calls it quiet. Ross, on the hand, is more likely to land not only a multi-year deal but someone who will most likely sign for more than a veteran's minimum.

Much younger than Matthews at 32, Ross has experience playing with Vucevic, as both played together in Orlando. Despite his struggles on the defensive end, Ross is a nearly 37% shooter from distance for his career and would be a guy that could give you 20-25 minutes off the bench.

Potential Steals: Every year, a group of players finds themselves unsigned this late in the summer, and you find yourself asking why. This offseason is the same as several big-name players are still available and searching for homes. Most will find a home before the season starts, but some may have to settle for a veteran's minimum to play in 2023.

Guys like Justice Winslow and Kevin Knox are on this list, but Winslow has been too injured in recent seasons, while Knox could be looking to land a multi-year deal. You also have the aging Markeiff Morris as a PF option, but look for him to try and land with a contender before all is said and done.

The one guy who remains a free agent is shocking, but if the Bulls could get him to sign a veteran's minimum or short-term deal, it could prove to be a steal. That player is former first-rounder Kelly Oubre Jr who is coming off an excellent season with Charlotte. Looking at his numbers from last season, there is no way this man should sign for anything less than a multi-year deal.

However, he is a free agent for a reason which could benefit Chicago. Oubre is coming off a season where he averaged 20.3 PPG with the Hornets. However, he did that, shooting just over 43% while averaging nearly 17 shots per game. That isn't an efficient player, and the Bulls had too many inconsistent shooters last year.

Another reason why he remains unsigned is that he only played in 48 games last season. Injuries played a role in that, but so did the coach, as he was benched several times for poor decision-making. If the Bulls want to add a scoring punch to their second unit, Oubre might be worth a call. They also better be ready for some ice-cold nights and some frustrating decision-making.

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