The 2016 NBA draft landed the Chicago Bulls a versatile wing player in Denzel Valentine. The SG/SF from Michigan State will definitely add a new dimension to the team with his playmaking ability and shooting stroke. The Bulls were in need of an influx of young guards to add to the rotation as well as some more shooting to the roster. While there were rumors swirling all night about Jimmy Butler being traded to the Timberwolves, it seems as though the Bulls will hold on to their two-time all-star. There is a good chance that Valentine will have every opportunity to earn minutes and maybe even a starting role this season due to the fact that Butler is the only proven wing player on the team at this time.
With free agency opening on July 1st at midnight, the team seems content to wait for the market to develop and not overspend they’re available cap room. Bulls GM Gar Forman has labeled the franchises direction as a “retooling” rather than a “rebuild”, but in reality this is a rebuild with the trade of Derrick Rose and pending departures of Gasol and Noah. Chicago is armed with roughly 24 million in cap room this summer with their primary needs at PG, athleticism on the perimeter, and some rotational bigs. There are two veterans on the team that could be moved this off-season in Taj Gibson and Mike Dunleavy Jr. Neither player matches well with the youth movement that the bulls are headed for and both could be valuable trade assets. Gibson is a great post defender and rebounder and also has a nice midrange game on offense as well as an attractive expiring contract. Dunleavy could add shooting to any team that is in playoff contention and is a veteran who knows how to get it done every night.
There is a thought throughout the league that with the salary cap increase this summer that players are going to get paid way more than they are worth. While it would be great if the Bulls could lure a Kevin Durant or Al Horford to the team, those players will probably not be dawning a Bulls uniform next season. The more likely scenario is that Chicago signs two or three free agents that could either be starters or just rotation pieces on team friendly deals, rather than overspend on a second or third tier free agency that could compromise the team’s future free agency plans.