Patrick Williams’ Free Agency, Isaiah Collier in Chicago? NBA vs. NFL, and Other Bulls Bullets

Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan will dominate the offseason headlines for the Chicago Bulls.

Arturas Karnisovas and Marc Eversley will presumably work every phone line in hopes that the market consensus has changed on their two-time All-Star. As for DeRozan, he is expected to hit unrestricted free agency and have a chance to sign with a contender. All signs point toward the Bulls making it their goal to bring him back, however, which would surely mean paying him a hefty sum.

The conclusion of both stories will tell us a lot about where this organization is headed. But there is a third narrative that shouldn’t be pushed to the wayside.

  • The Patrick Williams situation is a fascinating one. The organization’s No. 4 overall pick failed to reach an extension with the team one summer ago, positioning him to enter restricted free agency in the coming months. All things considered, the upper hand does belong to the Bulls’ front office. Not only do they have the right to match any offer sheet thrown his way, but Williams’ season-ending injury should work in their favor at the negotiating table. Nevertheless, the NBA offseason never fails to amaze, and we’ve seen the Bulls fumble opportunities in the past.
  • Indeed, two pretty bad scenarios could play out for Chicago. (1) They could be forced to drastically overpay Williams if a team with cap space throws him a ridiculous offer sheet. The Pistons, Jazz, and Thunder all feel like young teams who could view him as an exciting change of scenery candidate. (2) The Bulls could refuse to match an offer sheet and lose Williams for nothing. Despite how underwhelming Williams has been early in his career, he still isn’t the kind of player this struggling team can refuse to give up on. They need young talent, and Williams is still only 22 years old with great defensive instincts and an above-average 3-point shot.
  • The ideal scenario for the Bulls is that they can simply copy and paste what happened last offseason with Coby White and Ayo Dosunmu. White’s three-year, $36 million deal and Dosunmu’s three-year, $21 million deal feel like absolute steals after the campaigns they just put together. There is a world where we could lump Williams’ next contract into the equation next offseason. But a part of me is worried the Bulls’ luck in that department has run out.
  • Anyway, interest in Williams on the RFA market could rise fast. The power forward options this summer aren’t the most inspiring, and there is no question he is the semi-available player with the most upside. HoopsHype put him as the 7th-best power forward target this summer in their latest rankings, but I think there is easily a case to make that he’s top 5.
  • Patrick Williams of the Chicago Bulls
    © Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

  • The NBA Draft is still over a month away, but that’s not stopping the mock drafts! With the combine going on as we speak, a loose hierarchy is coming together. We’re only learning more and more which players could make sense for which teams, and this includes the Chicago Bulls at No. 11. I gathered the most notable mock drafts from this past week and gave some thoughts on their picks. You can check out what the experts are saying here
  • Spoiler Alert: Isaiah Collier appeared in most mocks, which definitely caught me a bit off guard. The idea of the Bulls grabbing another guard after the season we just saw from White felt odd on the surface. But then I remembered that this franchise has finished below .500 the past two seasons and is not in a place to pick for need. Not to mention, Collier is different enough from White and was previously discussed as the No. 1 pick in this draft. From an upside standpoint, if he’s still there when the Bulls show up, they might have to take him.
  • Collier said that he plans to speak with the Bulls sometime later this week. To be clear, that isn’t breaking news considering the franchise should be talking with practically every projected lottery pick. But if we see more ties between the two moving forward, this could tell us the interview went well.
  • DeMar DeRozan appeared on FanDuel TV’s Run It Back, and he was asked one very important question: Can NBA players compete in the NFL?
  • “Basketball players could almost do anything if you give us 2-3 months to prepare for it. I’m just a firm believe in that,” DeRozan told former NBA guard Lou Williams. “I think we have about 20 people in the league that could play in the NFL.”

  • This has been an ongoing debate online over the last couple of weeks. As ridiculous as I think it is, I do lean toward believing DeRozan is right. Do you know how hard it is to dribble and shoot at an NBA level? I’m not saying it’s not hard to run routes or make a tackle in the NFL. But I do believe that already-freak NBA athletes could train for that in a shorter amount of time than already-freak NFL athletes could develop their handles and jumpers. Does that make sense? Regardless, it’s a silly discussion.
  • Watch Chicago-native and University of Illinois legend Dee Brown talk about his time in the best city in the world …
  • Not going to lie, these are pretty sick …
  • Congrats to Vince Carter. Well-deserved.
  • Can’t wait to see who Caleb Williams will face in his first game at Solider Field.
  • He can’t be stopped.
  • written by

    Elias Schuster is the Lead Chicago Bulls writer at Bleacher Nation. He started with BN full-time in 2019 immediately after graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign with a degree in Journalism (yes, he started with the Jim Boylen Era). Since joining, Elias has been the driving force behind Bulls and NBA content for both the site and social accounts. You can follow him on Twitter/X @Schuster_Elias.

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