Expecting a Quick Deal for LaVine? Bulls Hesitant to Pay Bamba? And Other Bulls Bullets

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Expecting a Quick Deal for LaVine? Bulls Hesitant to Pay Bamba? And Other Bulls Bullets

Chicago Bulls


The chaotic festivities will begin this evening at 5:00 p.m. CT, which means it’s the perfect time to start sweating my butt off and worrying about every possible outcome.

Will the Bulls many any big moves? Will Patrick Williams be traded in that big move? Will they fill the holes that desperately need to be filled? Will Zach LaVine personally arrive at my front door, tear my heart out, and drop-kick it into Lake Michigan as he ditches Chicago?


  • Truth be told, my brain is only 5 percent worried about that latter question. All signs point to Zach LaVine inking a fresh five-year max contract with the Chicago Bulls, and we have reason to believe that deal could be agreed upon as soon as tonight. Sure, it’s always possible he decides to take some free food and drinks and hear out other teams, but NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson did report earlier today that LaVine and the Bulls are expected to “quickly” come to terms on a deal.
  • As for my other questions, I truly don’t know what to expect from this front office. We’re talking about the same leadership that whoopie-cushioned us with Nikola Vucevic, can-of-snaked us with DeMar DeRozan, and hand-shake-shocked us with Alex Caruso. They have continued to pull fast ones on the NBA and the Bulls fan base since taking over, and we can’t rule out the possibility of it happening again over the next few days.
  • We also can’t rule out the idea that this free agency proves to be remarkably boring. The Bulls have limited resources to build out this roster, and the current marketplace isn’t necessarily flooded with high-impact talent. I also can’t help but already rip out some hair over the mere thought of ownership not allowing Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley to enter the luxury tax. The Bulls finally have a competitive team again, and they need to spend the money to continue building it out in a competitive Eastern Conference. If the Reinsdorf stop them from doing so, it’s going to be a real kick in the crotch.
  • The Bulls need a backup big man, and it sounds like Mo Bamba wants to be their guy:
  • I’m extremely indifferent about the words Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times shares above. On one hand, this only strengthens my fear that the Bulls are concerned about spending too much money. Bamba would be a nice gamble at the backup center position, and he would provide the kind of shot-blocking and floor-spacing this front office likes. On the other hand, I don’t want to hand Bamba too much money.
  • Overpaying for a backup center is about the worst thing you can do. And it’s not like the Bulls don’t have other areas they need to improve. Spreading out the money over a couple of depth signings would be ideal, and I have to imagine Bamba is currently asking for almost all of the MLE. The only way I would feel comfortable giving the big man that kind of money is if there is a strong chance he can take Nikola Vucevic’s starting spot after this season. Unfortunately, Bamba has yet to prove he’s ready to hand that full-time role to a winning team.
  • Again, none of this is to say I wouldn’t like Bamba as a backup option. I just hope the Bulls can make a deal at the right price, thus leaving them some extra cash to spend on things like wing depth and shooting.
  • ICYMI: The Bulls have decided to move on from young and athletic wing Troy Brown Jr. While it’s always possible they bring him back on a separate deal, it feels pretty unlikely considering he fell out of the rotation last season.
  • One big reason the Bulls likely decided to move on from Brown is his lack of a consistent jumper. The Bulls arguably need to add 3-point threats more than they need to add rim protection this summer, which is why a guy like Danilo Gallinari has entered the offseason conversation. Some other options I could see the Bulls pursuing for cheap include Gary Harris, T.J. Warren, Malik Monk, Donte DiVincenzo, Wes Matthews, and Mike Muscala. Both Harris and DiVincenzo could also offer some high-upside defensive play.
  • Kemba, anyone?
  • If you’re looking for more free agency talk before the Woj bombs arrive, give my latest podcast a listen! Will Gottlieb of CHGO joined me to break down free agency options for the Bulls. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe and drop a rating. I hate asking for that stuff, but it really does help get some extra eyes on it. Appreciate all of you!

Author: Elias Schuster

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