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The opinions on how to view the Chicago Bulls offseason acquisitions have been across a wide spectrum.
ESPN’s Kevin Pelton voted Lonzo Ball’s four-year, $85 million contract as the best value in free agency, while also crowning DeMar DeRozan’s three-year, $85 million contract as the worst value during this offseason. Pelton’s ESPN colleague, Zach Lowe, identified the Bulls as the ‘biggest gambler’ during the offseason.
But, some see Chicago’s offseason acquisitions differently.
The Athletic’s David Aldridge ranked the offseason of every NBA team 30-1 and for the Bulls, they landed themselves at No. 4 on Aldridge’s list.
Check out Aldridge’s reasons behind the No.4 ranking for the Bulls.
"...the Artūras Karnišovas-Marc Eversley front office targeted and hit on Ball, who should fit in nicely. It’s hard to see what the issue was with Ball in New Orleans; he progressed across most categories in his two seasons there (improving from a ghastly 57 percent from the line in 2019-20 to 78 percent last season, and from a .511 effective field goal percentage to .537)."
The signing of Lonzo is one that universally seemed to be liked. At still just 23-years-old, Ball had his best year of his career last season, averaging 14.6 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, and 1.5 steals on a career-high 37.8% from 3-point range. If the shooting holds up and continues to improve, the Bulls will prove to have acquired Ball on a bargain.
"My analytics friends blanched at the high price tag, in salary and picks, Chicago gave up for the 32-year-old DeRozan, and it was a lot. But how long are Bulls ticket holders supposed to wait for a better product on the floor? Chicago’s new players should impact collectively: Zach LaVine won’t have to always guard the opposition’s top wings down the stretch (Caruso); he won’t have to play make as well as score (Ball) and he won’t have opposing defenses tilting his way all the time (DeRozan)."
The contract of DeRozan can seem to be an eyesore, sure. But, Aldridge makes a good point: how long until Bulls fans start to riot without having a playoff-caliber roster on the floor? The combination of adding Ball, DeRozan, and Caruso lifts so much off LaVine's plate, adding well-versed playmakers and perimeter defenders. "There’s no one “great” thing the Bulls did this offseason. But there was a lot of good." A lot of good is exactly what the Bulls needed this offseason to get back into playoff contention.