After a clearly terrible year for Chicago Bulls basketball, the offseason allows some time for fans to be somewhat optimistic. The 2018 NBA Draft was a good first step. Wendell Carter Jr. and Chandler Hutchison will be very good pieces for the Bulls moving forward and even if you don’t see a real chance at superstardom from either of them, they fit Chicago’s needs.
The Bulls need some more pieces to fit around the likes of Lauri Markkanen, but it doesn’t mean they should have an aggressive 2018 offseason. From what the Bulls brass has mentioned, 2019 has been the target offseason where they should be aggressive. Markkanen will be a year older and more developed and we will see what type of players Carter and Hutchison are.
Chicago just has to keep things simple and not try to jump the gun on the rebuild. There still is a lot of work to be done with this team before they can even become a playoff contender, let alone a team who will make some noise in the conference. For Chicago to have a good offseason, they just have to maintain the focus on keeping their own free agents. The Bulls have 6 free agents, but the two of them they should be focused on getting back is Zach LaVine and David Nwaba, particularly on affordable and tradeable contracts. Another means of using their cap space this season would be to acquire 2018-19 expiring contracts, picking up an asset along the way.
One thing the Bulls cannot do is begin to throw long term money at other free agents this summer, with those deals totally contradicting their thinking of 2019 being the key free agency year. It would be disastrous for Chicago to try and sign guys like Jabari Parker to big deals in hopes that they could blossom one day. You never know with this Bulls front office, one year they sign Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo to deals and the next offseason they are finding decent guys on cheap contracts like Nwaba.
If Chicago wants to have a good offseason, they need to keep it conservative and reserve cap space for 2019. This team is going to be bad again so there’s no need to necessarily waste money in this year’s free agent class.