Ah, the offseason: A time for our optimism to run free and our imaginations to run … even freer. The Bulls have finally entered their first full offseason under the new leadership, which means we have plenty to follow and even more to look forward to. But before we get to any of it, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page and discuss some of what we can expect to be addressed over the next couple of months.
• Despite all the excitement surrounding the organization, the Chicago Bulls will not have a very exciting free-agent experience this winter. If Otto Porter picks up his option – he will – the organization will have very little spending money (we’re talking about a $9.2 million tax-payer mid-level exception and $3.6 bi-annual exception). That kind of money can net the team a decent role player, but it will not lead to anything special. Instead, the team must rely on its young talent to turn around the win column next season. For more on the names that could be in the mix for the Chicago this offseason, check our post from a little while back.
• Anyway, so while an underwhelming free agency should be our expectation, we can’t rule anything out, especially with a new front office. The Bulls new brass have already proven to be aggressive with the signing of head coach Billy Donovan. Not to mention, Arturas Karnisovas has spoken about making draft night moves a couple of times, and Marc Eversley has labeled this entire effort a “retooling,” not a “rebuild.” What that means is that – be it via free agency or the trade market – we could see this franchise become far more involved than we’re used to seeing. In other words, if a big-name becomes available, I wouldn’t put it past the Bulls front office to pick up the phone.
• In case you missed it, the NBA will reportedly allow teams to meet with and work out draft prospects ahead of, you know, drafting them, which just must be music to the ears of Karnisovas, holder of the Bulls highest draft pick since 2008.
You Know Karnisovas Is Happy: NBA Will Reportedly Allow Teams to Hold In-Person Meetings/Workouts with Draft Prospectshttps://t.co/gRZWItYrdg
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) October 12, 2020
• The music sounds especially beautiful when you consider that three of the projected top-4 picks – Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman, and Obi Toppin – all decided not to participate in the combine. Yes, LaMelo Ball participated in the media interview, but he then also pulled out of the combine. Perhaps now, the Bulls front office can get some additional information from one of the guys that might ultimately put on a Bulls uniform. If not, by contrast, they can at least learn why it’s more prudent to trade down this particular year. These face-to-face interactions are when Karnisovas is said to do his best work, so if he wasn’t yet comfortable with the organization’s approach to draft night, he should be soon.
• Either way, Karnisovas and Eversley will have to shift things into maximum overdrive in the next couple of weeks to organize their draft night strategy. While they obviously want to identify the best talent, it actually might be just as beneficial to learn who the other teams in the top-10 value. Karnisovas is supposedly a quality talent evaluator, and if there is a prospect he doesn’t think as highly of that someone a bit further down the draft order is enamored with, why not talk about a trade? I know the Bulls have been alluding to a somewhat quick turnaround, which means selecting a top-4 talent might be the best move, but it also never hurts (regardless of situation) to grab more assets.
• The Athletic’s Sam Vecenie gave us more information at some of the ongoing draft conversations, and he also updated his latest mock draft. If you haven’t familiarized yourself with this draft’s talent pool, I recommend giving it a read.
With the offseason officially underway, here we go:
The 2020 NBA Mock Draft has been updated. This is a starting point, and I’d expect some real adjustment throughout the next month, not only in terms of players but also in terms of draft order: https://t.co/nwPrMdItk0 pic.twitter.com/1iqZPUUGR4
— Sam Vecenie (@Sam_Vecenie) October 13, 2020
• When your team already signed their new head coach >>>>>>
The Rockets interviewed Clippers assistant Ty Lue on Monday — Lue is also being pursued by the Clippers and New Orleans — and Rockets assistant coach John Lucas is expected to interview for the Houston vacancy after Van Gundy
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) October 13, 2020