Happy birthday to America.
As all birthdays indicate, I look forward to growth.
- So … we still get to make fun of Goran Dragic for this, right?
- The Chicago Bulls’ confusing free agency continued on Sunday as they signed the point guard to a one-year, $2.9 million deal. Don’t get me wrong, I think Dragic’s skillset and veteran experience will have a positive impact on this roster, but I truly never saw this signing coming. Not only did it feel like Dragic would be lured to a more clear-cut contender (the Dallas Mavericks come to mind), but the Bulls were already set to have extreme guard depth. Between Zach LaVine, Lonzo Ball, Alex Caruso, Coby White, Ayo Dosunmu, and Dalen Terry, Chicago’s backcourt might be one of the deepest in the league … so why add Dragic when size upfront still feels like the priority?
- Well, let’s first consider what Dragic brings to the floor. While he may not be what he once was, we’re still looking at an experienced ballhandler and scorer who shot 37.5 percent behind the arc in the five years leading into the 2021-22 season. He should immediately provide the team with another reliable jump shooter and high-IQ passer, as well as a player who is known for performing well in the postseason.
- Dragic did struggle to find his groove last year in his 21 games between the Raptors and Nets, but there is reason to believe that was more circumstantial than age-induced. And he showed that while playing with the Slovenian National Team earlier this week:
- In a vacuum, a Dragic signing would look good for nearly any playoff-caliber team. But, when we go back to considering the Bulls’ specific roster, this deal still comes off a bit odd. One now has to wonder if this is a precursor for an upcoming roster change, and I say that with Coby White in mind. We all know the organization has put White on the trade block this summer, and perhaps Dragic’s similar off-the-bench scoring role will have the front office eager to find a trade partner.
- To be clear, I don’t think the Bulls should trade White just to trade him. Considering the team’s lack of 3-point shooting, I can easily see Arturas Karnisovas choosing to keep both on the bench. But it’s hard not to wonder if White can now be used in a potential deal to bolster the frontcourt. We never know what new avenues might open up as organizations miss out on certain free agents, so perhaps someone is now willing to meet Chicago’s demands to add a needed sparkplug scorer like White.
- If the Dragic signing has nothing to do with White’s future … does it tell us something about Lonzo Ball? The last update we’ve heard about the Bulls’ starting point guard is that he’s finally making progress in his rehab. However, it’s hard not to look at adding another veteran point guard as an insurance policy. Are there already questions about Ball’s availability for the beginning of the season? Or are the Bulls simply worried about his ability to play a full season?
- Whether it be thanks to White’s change of scenery or Ball’s injury trouble, I have to imagine Dragic was given a reason to believe he will play an important role for this team. Again, I like the Dragic signing overall, but I’m extremely interested to hear how either Karnisovas or Eversley explains his signing the next time we hear from them.
- I’ll probably have to dedicate a whole post to this soon …
- While I remain excited to watch this team next season, I’m incredibly frustrated by ownership’s refusal to do what it takes to build a true contender. You have to spend money to win at the highest level in today’s league. As one of the biggest markets in the NBA, the Bulls unwillingness to go the extra mile is pretty darn embarrassing.
- Bring it on.