You didn’t need to watch Games 3 through 6 of this years playoff series against the Boston Celtics to realize that the Chicago Bulls need help at the point guard spot. The Bulls brought Rajon Rondo in, and although he played great in Games 1 and 2 against Boston, he was mostly really bad through most of the season. Jerian Grant still has the potential to be a decent starter but he still has ways to go. The Bulls traded a lot for Cameron Payne and right now there are no signs that he can be of some use for them. MCW and Isaiah Canaan are likely gone in free agency. That’s the current state of Chicago Bulls point guards at the moment.
If the Bulls want to have a semi-decent free agency, they should go after a quality point guard who can be of some use on the court. Doesn’t matter if he comes off the bench or starts over Rondo and the rest of them, just someone to make a positive impact. Here are a list of guys who could possibly help the Bulls and are free agents this summer.
These are the types of guys who will command a very sizable contract this offseason. Thus, it’s probably only an option for the Bulls if the choose not to pick up Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade decides to leave (both of which are highly unlikely scenario). If, by chance, the Bulls are able to get one of the guys in this category, it will certainly help out their starting lineup. All three of the following are unrestricted free agents.
Holiday would be a very good fit for the Bulls. He is a very talented offensive player and has shown the ability to both create his own shot and for his teammates. Holiday averaged 15.9 points with an eFG% of 50.9 along with averaging 7.3 assists per game. He’s decent defensively as well, registering a defensive box plus/minus of 0.5 in 2016-17. We will have to see if that production on that end keeps up given that this was the first positive DBPM he has registered since the 2011-12 season.
If there is one knock on Holiday, it’s that he is a liability when it comes to staying healthy. You can’t knock a guy for that but it still is a concern anytime you sign someone in free agency. The 67 games he played in last year was the most he has in a single season since 2012 when he played in 78. Holiday is a very talented point guard and someone who can provide offensive support to Jimmy Butler while holding up his own defensively. But you still have to be concerned about the health issues.
Hill is another player that would be very good next to Butler. Right now the Bulls need a guy who can play off the ball, have a consistent three-point shot, and play solid defense. Hill checks off all three of those. Despite being known as a more traditional point guard, Hill can play off the ball and be there as a valuable three-point threat. Along with having a career average of 11.8 points per game, Hill has gotten better as a three-point shooter as his career progressed. He shot 32.9% from deep his rookie year but has improved to the point where his three-point percentage has been around 40% for the past two seasons. His defense is pretty good with him showing and ability to at least slow down opposing point guards, which is something the Bulls failed to do all season.
The main problem with Hill is that he is likely to command a huge contract from Utah and a bunch of other teams coming after him. He also just turned 31. Even if Chicago has the money, they might not even be on his radar in terms of teams he wants to sign with. Still, he is a very good fit in Chicago.
Out of all these three point guards, you could argue that Teague is the best one offensively and that is what he really is going to bring to the table. He’s averaged around 15 points for the past couple of years along with averaging 7 to 8 assists per year. But who knows how he will fit on the Bulls.
He’s efficient offensively (49.2 eFG%), being a decent three-point shooter with an average of 35.5% from deep yet also more of a player who wants to get to the rim. The problem is that the Bulls already have two players like that with Butler and Dwyane Wade. His defense is also a problem as well with Teague not having a positive DBPM for almost five years.
Sparks off the bench
Now these are guys who won’t necessarily start for the Bulls but will certainly be able to bring some offensive firepower off the bench. Chicago’s bench showed some signs of life all year but they need someone who is going to be able to give them a spark when needed. There are two guys who fit that mold.
Other than Hill and Holiday, Mills should be at the top of the Bulls free agency list. Mills has been a fantastic player for the San Antonio Spurs and will probably get rewarded with a good contract this offseason. Mills brings it every game and is a great two way player. Despite only having a career points per game average of 7.9, Mills can certainly score. He has been a big part of the Spurs success this postseason and a main reason as to why every year SA has consistently had a good bench. He’s a knockdown three-point shooter and will certainly provide some much needed spacing for Chicago. With Jimmy Butler being the ball dominant player that he is, adding a player like Mills would be a good compliment.
Shaun Livingston has played a crucial bench role for the Golden State Warriors over the past few years but now finds himself being an unrestricted free agent. If he chooses to leave the Bay Area, Livingston can be of some help to any team he signs with. He’s lanky and will certainly cause problems for opposing point guards. Livingston also uses his length to get into the lane and finish over smaller defenders.
Livingston’s mid-range game is killer, and anytime he’s in the post there is a good chance he is hitting that patented turn-around jumper. He won’t help the spacing issues with a very poor three-point shooting percentage (career average of 19.7%) but he can create some offense when he is surrounded by some shooters.
Let’s sign them and see what happens
Collison is another player who can possibly bring some solidarity to the point guard spot for Chicago. Most specifically when it comes to leading a bench unit. He can score the ball and has shown consistency from deep with him shooting 38% over his career from that range. Adding Collison could work given the market that could likely be out there for him and he won’t cost that much.
There are negatives though. He isn’t that good of a defender and be a liability on that end of the court. He also has issues off the court with him being suspended for a domestic violence incident early last season.
At age 32, there are concerns at how productive he could be but Felton’s play last year suggested that he can be of some value, properly running an offense and a veteran presence for that bench unit. He will likely also come on a very cheap contract and at least push the likes of Jerian Grant and Cameron Payne if anything else. Felton won’t be the solution to Chicago’s bench problems by any means but he can provide some sort of offensive presence and it won’t take much to sign him.