As the bell rang at 5:00 pm (CT), the NBA free agent signings started to roll in. And three of the first deals announced came with some disappointment for Bulls fans, as the team was linked to each of them in the lead up to free agency this week.
Former Clippers big man Isaiah Hartenstein has signed a two-year, $16.7 million contract with the New York Knicks (who have also already reportedly landed a deal with Jalen Brunson).
Hartenstein was linked to the Bulls by Bleacher Report‘s Jake Fischer in his free agency primer on Wednesday morning. Hartenstein is fresh off a career year where he averaged 8.3 points, 4.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists, and 1.1 blocks per game for a better-than-expected Clippers team.
Shams Charania reported this evening that veteran big man PJ Tucker is heading to Philly on a three-year, $33.2 million deal.
While a deal in Philly for Tucker was widely reported as a done deal today, Alex Schiffer reported earlier that the Bulls were among teams with interest in the 37-year-old big. Atlanta, Minnesota, and Brooklyn were other teams with interest in Tucker.
Another name linked to the Bulls was former Orlando first-rounder Mo Bamba. According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Bamba is staying in Orlando on a new two-year, $21 million deal. For however much he may have made sense, it was always unlikely the Bulls would be willing to spend this much on Bamba.