The Chicago Bulls are coming off of another disappointing season. They finished the regular season 40-42, still good enough to earn the No. 10 seed in the Eastern Conference and a spot in the NBA Play-In Tournament. They had a thrilling comeback to beat the No. 9 seed Toronto Raptors in the first round, but ultimately fell one game short of the NBA Playoffs with a loss to the No. 7 seed Miami Heat. The Bulls now look ahead to the offseason and 2023 NBA free agency. They have quite a few free agents, so they will have to make some tough decisions on who will be returning.
The Bulls are in a tough spot because of the continuous uncertainty of Lonzo Ball. Ball hasn’t played in a game since January 2022 after being brought in to be the point guard of the future in Chicago. The Bulls guard recently underwent another knee surgery for an ongoing issue, and it is still anyone’s guess when Ball will return to the court. Ball’s status has seriously hampered a roster that was supposed to contend. Although many fans believe the Bulls should just blow it up and accept this current roster doesn’t have what it takes, the Chicago brass has a different mindset.
Chicago Bulls EVP Arturas Karnisovas made it clear in his end-of-season remarks that the Bulls have no intention of rebuilding. He likes pieces on the current roster, and they plan on continuing to try building a contender. Consequently, Karnisovas will be keeping stars DeMar DeRozan and Zach LaVine, focusing on structuring the best roster around the two guards. This will include the free agents, restricted and non-restricted, that are currently on the roster. There are 2 players in particular that the Bulls need to make a priority of re-signing. So, who are those 2 players?
Here are 2 players the Chicago Bulls must re-sign this offseason in 2023 NBA free agency.
*Stats via ESPN
Patrick Beverley grew up in Chicago rooting for the Chicago Bulls. He is a very close friend of Bulls legend Derrick Rose. He was very public about what playing for the Bulls meant to him. It is imperative that in NBA free agency this offseason, the Chicago Bulls bring back Patrick Beverley, and not just for sentimental reasons.
Beverley signed with the Chicago Bulls after being bought out by the Orlando Magic, and he brought an intensity to Chicago they were missing. With Beverley, the Bulls went 13-9, helping propel them into the NBA Play-In Tournament. Beverley joined forces with Alex Caruso to create one of the more dynamic defensive duos on the perimeter in all of the NBA.
As a team, the Bulls allowed 107.68 points per game with Beverley in the lineup. That would have been good for second best overall in the NBA this season. It is clear that Beverley added a force to the Bulls that allowed them to be a better team. As they look to become a contender, Beverley is a key piece that will lead to more wins. The hometown kid belongs in Chicago, and the Bulls need to re-sign him in NBA free agency.
Ayo Dosunmu saw a slight dip in minutes and production in his 2nd season in the NBA. Still, Dosunmu has extreme potential, and he has showed flashes of very strong guard play ever since being drafted. The arrival of Beverley cut into his minutes, and he ended up falling out of the rotation come the NBA Play-In Tournament. Albeit his less than ideal end to the season, the Bulls would be smart to re-sign Ayo Dosunmu in NBA free agency this summer.
Dosunmu looks like he could be a prototypical 2-way player. Developing under Patrick Beverley would help Dosunmu continue to build on an already strong defensive foundation, while the other guards ahead of him on the depth chart are perfect for his raw skillset. Playing behind both Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan is exactly what a player like Dosunmu needs early in his career, as he has two perfect examples of guys who can easily create shots for themselves. Dosunmu really struggled with his game offensively this season, but at only 23-years-old, he is still a very fresh prospect.
The last reason the Bulls should bring back Dosunmu is the question mark surrounding Ball. The Balls need a point guard, and re-signing Dosunmu will at least give them some insurance. They will have the ability to poach a point guard from somewhere else in NBA free agency, but it would be smart to cover all of their bases within their own organization first. Ayo Dosunmu should be a priority for the Chicago Bulls this summer.
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