It’s a big day for pens.
The moratorium period on NBA free agency will end this afternoon, paving the way for free agents to sign their verbally agreed-upon deals and for the league office to officially approve recent trades. All things considered, this doesn’t normally come tied to any massive news, but it can always ignite the next wave of offseason transactions.
We should start to see the final chunk of free agents fall off the board, particularly the restricted talent. Teams will have only two days to decide whether or not to match any offer sheet thrown at their restricted free agent. Some notable names to watch are Deandre Ayton, Collin Sexton, and Caleb Martin.
- For the Chicago Bulls, this means we could see the organization officially reveal the additions of Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic later this afternoon. Other than that, however, it continues to feel like the front office is done tweaking this roster ahead of the 2022-23 season. I would love if they could at least get their hands on one more wing defender/shooter (*motions toward Caleb Martin*), but they appear unwilling to use any of the remaining $7.0 million of their MLE due to the luxury tax. With Drummond and Dragic on the roster, the team is now just $1.5 million away from stepping into the tax.
- Do I still think the Bulls will be a good team next season? Yes. But the margin for error still feels too darn low. The big issue for the Bulls last season was a lack of depth and consistency. While Drummond and Dragic should stabilize the bench a little bit, I just don’t see how the Bulls are any less prone to allowing injuries or lack of 3-point shooting/rim protection to sink them moving forward. Perhaps Drummond is better than I imagine on the defensive end. Perhaps Lonzo Ball stays healthy the whole year. Perhaps Patrick Williams really does evolve into a third/fourth option. That just feels like a little too much wishful thinking.
- But, hey, I can’t deny I’m still excited for next season. I know I’ve complained a good amount recently about the quiet offseason, but we’re also still talking about a team that did crack the top-6 in a very competitive East. There is no doubt the core of LaVine, DeRozan, and Vucevic learned plenty of valuable lessons about how to play with each other last season, and I have faith in that All-Star trio to put some of what they learned to good use. Not to mention, this roster just can’t have as many injury issues as last year, right? RIGHT!? SOMEONE, PLEASE SAY RIGHT!?
- Dalen Terry is going to be impossible not to like.
- Considering Terry said he had never thrown a baseball before, I’ll give his first pitch a solid 6/10. While the ball did roll past Southpaw, I like the form and Terry did appear to have the distance. As long as you don’t embarrass yourself, that’s an automatic five or above, in my opinion.
- All it took was a minute of this video to make me crave Bulls basketball. We have to wait three more months!?
- I do think it’s easy to forget how important both Caruso and Ball proved to be for the team this season, and the video above does a good job reminding us. Not only do both set the tone defensively, but they really are the driving force for how Billy Donovan wants to play. They are constantly keeping the ball in motion and pushing the pace in transition. You need an extremely unselfish player and dirty-work defender around All-Star talent, and the Bulls are lucky to have two of those players.
- Is there any hope that Marko Simonovic can contribute this season? My gut tells me no, but he has bulked up quite a bit and did string together some impressive G-League performances. And, hey, thanks to ownership’s refusal to spend, Donovan might have no choice but to test him out at some point this season.
- Chet Holmgren had one of the best Summer League showings we’ve seen in a while (until Dalen Terry plays this weekend, of course).
- Excuse me?