Missing Out On Millsap, Free Agent Fallback Options? Simonovic's Role, And Other Bulls Bullets

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Missing Out On Millsap, Free Agent Fallback Options? Simonovic’s Role, And Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The significant other was organizing our jam-packed Tupperware drawer last night, and I noticed she was struggling a bit. I walked over to try to lend a helping hand, and I recommended that perhaps we try to find a different location for some of the containers.

Her response was quick: “Why don’t we find a different location for you?”

Me: 0

Her: 1

Speaking of finding a new location …

•   As much as I like what the Bulls did this offseason, a LaVine-DeRozan-Vucevic trio is just not as delectable as an Irving-Durant-Harden platter, and Paul Millsap reminded us of that on Thursday morning. The 15-year veteran decided to sign a new deal with the Brooklyn Nets over Chicago, Golden State, and Los Angeles (Clippers). While the Nets can not offer him the same kind of cash or role the Bulls could, they can offer him a more convincing run at a ring. For a competitive 36-year-old who already has plenty of cash in his back pocket, it is an understandable choice.

•   There is no denying, however, that Millsap fit remarkably well with this Bulls roster. Not only could he provide a much-needed veteran presence off the court, but he could fill a much-needed defensive hole in this Chicago frontcourt. Likewise, while Millsap is not any kind of gifted shooter, he would bring a decent jumper with a proven ability to take care of the basketball on the offensive end. He may be an aging player, but he was also someone who the team knew what they could get from for about 15-20 minutes a night.

•   The same can not necessarily be said about the players left on the free-agent market. Chicago still has two roster spots to fill, and I have to imagine their sights remain set on fine-tuning the power forward position. DeMar DeRozan and Derrick Jones Jr. are currently positioned to eat their fair share of minutes behind Patrick Williams at the four. Fortunately, both have experience playing in that spot on the court, but both will also force the team to play small. Despite Jones’ ridiculous seven-foot wingspan, he stands just six-foot-five. DeRozan stands an inch or so taller, but he is a low-impact defender who will play the majority of his minutes with the starters. I also don’t love either player next to backup center Tony Bradley. A rim-protector who doesn’t possess the ability to space the floor like Vucevic, Bradley is going to constantly clog the lane for two players that thrive driving/cutting to the rim.

•   Now, with all that said, I probably should note that the Bulls could leave a roster spot open heading into this season thanks to their $5.3 million trade exception. What the team has right now is good enough to get them off and running this season, and they can then look to address added depth via this roster spot as the trade market opens up more.

•   Whenever I mention the need for more size at the PF position, I feel like someone always throws Marko Simonovic at my face. I’d love if Simonovic could prove to be a reliable backup four, but isn’t that a lot to ask of a guy right off the bat who has never stepped on an NBA court? Yes, Simonovic has shown the ability to space the floor in his film overseas. And, sure, he does appear plenty energetic and athletic enough to eventually hold his own on the defensive end (he needs to add muscle). But he is a second-rounder who did not even get a taste of manning the four in Summer League play. Do I expect the Bulls to run him out there in training camp and at some point this season? Definitely, but it’s a lot to expect of such a young prospect.

•   Hey, I know two of those guys!

•   Michael Scotto gave us another look behind the scenes on Lauri Markkanen’s free agency in the most recent HoopsHype Podcast. According to Scotto, the Cavaliers were trying to get the big man for three second-round picks, but Karnisovas would not budge over the course of negotiations. Smart man!

With Lauri Markkanen, there were really some intense talks over a five or six-day period where Cleveland was discussing three second-round picks, and then Chicago was holding firm on wanting a first-round pick. Then, Cleveland was able to get the first-round pick from Portland for Larry Nance Jr., but then Chicago also wanted a second-round pick on top of that, and there was some frustration from some of the parties involved because it seemed like the goal post was being moved a bit

•   We also learned that Markkanen did reportedly sit down with Karnisovas and tell him he wanted out of Chicago. For more on all of that, make sure to check out the link below.

•   Tim Sinclair and the retired Tommy Edwards will both be featured in the newest edition of NBA 2k!

•   Lonzo Ball looks like he is enjoying his offseason.

•   Inject this into my veins.

•   If he ain’t broke, extend him!



Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is a writer for Bleacher Nation and a human being. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.