Point guard was at the top of the Chicago Bulls’ list of needs as soon as the clock on their season hit zero. And while the team addressed the problematic position by drafting North Carolina standout Coby White with the seventh pick in the 2019 NBA Draft, the Bulls might not be done re-tooling the position this offseason. Indeed, even after drafting White, free agency could be used to re-shape the team’s backcourt.
Jason Patt (Forbes) offers up some veteran options the Bulls could target in free agency to further bolster the point guard spot after drafting White. Reserve point guards probably aren’t on most Bulls fan’s radars right now, but the team could opt to fully invest in turning a weakness into a strength this offseason. And since the team doesn’t have outrageous needs in the front-court, it is probably time for the front office to shift its sights to the lead guard spot.
Patrick Beverley has been on our radar for a hot minute, but his price tag could already be too rich for the Bulls. But the good news is that Beverley isn’t the only available option. Darren Collison, Cory Joseph, Ricky Rubio, and George Hill are names that pop up in the conversation as guards who could be in play for the Bulls when free agency opens its doors. So let’s discuss some possibilities.
Collison and Hill are both experienced point guards who excel in an area that has been a weakness for the Bulls for quite some time — perimeter shooting. Collison is a career 39.4 percent shooter from the 3-point line who has connected on 42.4 percent of his attempts in 287 games since the start of the 2015-16 season. Hill has shot 37.8 percent from 3-point range in his career, but that number has ticked up to 39.2 percent over the last four years.
Collison has more starts under his belt than Hill, which could give him an edge if the Bulls don’t want to put all their eggs in White’s basket right away. But Hill owns more postseason experience (117 games!) having played for the Pacers, Spurs, Cavaliers, Jazz, and Bucks. Cory Joseph is another possibility if the Bulls are targeting a reserve guard with experience. Joseph has 82 games of playoff experience under his belt, but a 32.7 percent success rate from the 3-point arc shows he doesn’t have the shooting prowess of Hill or Collison. But still … the Bulls are in a phase of their rebuild where they need to learn how to win as a young team, and I can imagine Hill being helpful in that regard.
One thing that separates Joseph from Collison (and possibly Hill) is that he is more likely to be on the more affordable end of the free agency pool. After drafting White, the Bulls seem more likely to be in the conversation for a less expensive guard option like Joseph, rather than the likes of Collison, Hill, Beverley, Ricky Rubio, Derrick Rose, Malcolm Brogdon, or D’Angelo Russell. Then again, the Bulls should be in a place where they should be looking to acquire talent and assets, rather than trying to piece together a roster by fit.
Chicago’s basketball team is nowhere near a place where they should be overlooking a player because of a lack of perceived fit. And in an era of position less basketball, it’s possible that two lead guards could co-exist in the same backcourt because talent wins out in the NBA. It’s something the Cavaliers appear to be on the brink of trying with Collin Sexton and Darius Garland on their team. As far as I’m concerned, the Bulls are still in a place where they should be thinking “add talent now, ask questions later.”
Leave it to the Bulls to address one of their biggest holes in the draft and still leave questions regarding how the position could further be re-shaped through free agency.