Earlier today, we discussed the retirement of 31-year-old point guard (and would-be free agent) Darren Collison, given his theoretical and potential connection to the Chicago Bulls this summer. Collison had become known as a reliable point guard option over the years, and was firmly planted in the conversation as a Bulls free agent target.
And now we have a better idea of how interested Chicago was in Collison:
There’s strong belief within league circles the Bulls and Darren Collison were headed for a marriage had Collison not surprisingly retired Friday night at age 31.
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 29, 2019
Apparently, the theoretical and potential connection to Collison was a lot more than just that. According to K.C. Johnson’s sources within the league, he and the Bulls were actually destined for a union this summer! Which, whoa! That actually tells us quite a bit.
We’re obviously still happy for Collison, who retired citing his family, faith, and desire to help others. But there is a bit of news here that extends beyond the absence of a deal for Collison. And that’s the Bulls’ intentions on the free agent market this summer.
While rumors continue to swirl around higher-tier free agents like D’Angelo Russell and Malcom Brogdon (those aren’t going away just yet!), this rumor of an impending “marriage” between the Bulls and Collison seems to suggest that they intend on playing a tier down on the free agent market. Specifically, the Bulls have had increased ties to the Pacers’ backup point guard Cory Joseph here lately, and with the news of this nixed marriage out there, I’m even more convinced that that’s their intended path forward.
Of course, there are no guarantees in free agency. The Bulls may have liked something about Collison, in particular, that other free agents like Joseph do not offer – but it’s not difficult to read the writing on the wall either. And with just $23M in cap space (roughly), the math does seem to add up on less costly free agents. The Bulls could still move some things around to make a bigger play at a more impactful player, of course, but someone in Collison’s tier wouldn’t have been a surprise before today’s announcement and certainly isn’t now.
Stay tuned, because the Bulls are clearly going to be active this offseason (especially in the backcourt) and things could start happening sooner than later.