Options Are Slim, Should the Bulls Call Alize Johnson? Still a Young Team, and Other Bulls Bullets

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Options Are Slim, Should the Bulls Call Alize Johnson? Still a Young Team, and Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls

The Brooklyn Nets think they’re so cool, don’t they!?

First, they sign the Paul Millsap out from under the Bulls to the veteran minimum. Then, boom, LaMarcus Aldridge comes out of retirement, and he inks a fresh deal with Brooklyn. Bruh, leave some 36-year-old aggressively-past-their-prime power forwards for the rest of us! Jerks.

•   On a more serious note, I think everyone, their mother, and grandmother can understand why both Millsap and Aldridge decided to sign with the Nets. Sure, the Bulls would have likely offered both more cash, but when we consider Millsap has made an estimated $183.4 million over his 15 years in the league and Aldridge has made an estimated $210.2 million over his 16 years in the league, it’s not hard to see why a ring might be higher on their priority list. Not to mention, the Nets are still clearly the more intriguing destination. With Kevin Durant, James Harden, and Kyrie Irving leading the way, it’s the place to be for players looking to play on the biggest stage ASAP.

•   The Bulls now find themselves in a sticky situation. While it’s nice that backup power forward is one of the bigger roster issues right now (ya know, instead of like … every position besides starting shooting guard), it is still an issue. The Bulls are in store to rely on two small-ball fours in DeMar DeRozan and Derrick Jones Jr. in relief of Patrick Williams. Marko Simonovic might eventually be able to eat minutes at the position, but he still has plenty of question marks hovering over his head. The Bulls need another big body that can slide into the rotation when needed, but the options are painfully slim.

•   Rondae Hollis-Jefferson is a lengthy defensive-minded name I would not hate to see enter the mix. Mike Scott is not a sexy player, but he is a 9-year vet who has played 119 games for a competitive Philly team over the last two seasons. And, hey, perhaps as Brooklyn taketh, they can giveth. After adding Millsap and Aldridge, the team sent Deandre Jordan, four future seconds, and cash considerations to Detroit in exchange for Sekou Doumbouya, and Jahlil Okafor (Jordan proceeded to reach a buyout with Detroit). In this process, they were also forced to waive 25-year-old big Alize Johnson.

•   Johnson might have only 49 career games under his belt during his first three seasons in the league, but he showed real promise at the end of the 2021-22 season. Johnson made 18 appearances in the regular season for the stacked Brooklyn team, averaging 5.2 points and 5.0 rebounds in 10.5 minutes per game. He stands 6’8″ with a pretty underwhelming 6’9″ wingspan, but what he might lack in sheer athleticism, he has made up with high-energy play. Johnson crashes the boards hard, and he doesn’t come off as one who will back down from a challenge (basically possess the traits you want to see in a potential role player). Last season, Johnson blew everyone away with a 20-point, 21-rebound, 2-block performance against the Pacers. Without any of the Nets’ big three on the court, Johnson led his team to a 17-point victory over the Pacers.

•   So in terms of guys to throw a flyer at, Johnson would not be the worst option out there. After all, he would just be another potential young role player to evaluate this season, joining guys like Tony Bradley, Troy Brown Jr., Derrick Jones Jr., Ayo Dosunmu, and Marko Simonovic. Speaking of which, I know the additions of Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan have made it feel as if the Bulls have gotten significantly older, but that simply is not the case. Hispanos NBA dot com has Chicago tied for the 7th-youngest team in the league with an average age of 24.5. Sure, several of those young talents may not come with the highest upside, but guys like Lonzo Ball (23), Patrick Williams (21), and even Coby White (21) do.

•   Another free-agent PF option snatched.

•   I kind of want Adam and Stacey to just announce my daily life.


•   Ah, beating the Celtics on national television never gets old.

•   *pretends to be shocked*

•   The Cubs Manager, David Ross, was out from yesterday’s game after testing positive for COVID-19, and their backup manager, Andy Green, got himself tossed with a good old fashioned blow up.

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Author: Elias Schuster

Elias Schuster is the Lead Bulls Writer at Bleacher Nation. You can follow him on Twitter @Schuster_Elias.