Who Should Fill the Bulls’ Final Roster Spot?

Christian Wood

Photo: Getty Images

Despite signing a three-year, 41 million dollar fully guaranteed contract with the Rockets in 2020, Wood has become an afterthought in the 2023 free agency class. Christian Wood had an up-and-down season with the Dallas Mavericks. Wood was never able to establish himself as the second option to Luka Doncic, and the acquisition of Kyrie Irving pushed Wood down the pecking order.

Christian Wood shot over 50% from the field and 37% from the three-point line last season. Wood can contribute offensively efficiently, but the question is whether he can hold up defensively. Christian Wood has reportedly not received a contract offer over the veteran minimum.

Kelly Oubre Jr

Oubre is coming off a season where he averaged 20 points per game in Charlotte. However, Oubre had a significant role to fill following multiple injuries suffered by star point guard Lamelo Ball throughout the season. Kelly Oubre shot 43% from the field and 32% from the three-point range.

While Oubre is one of the best free agents left available, his questionable efficiency could make teams wary of signing him to a multi-million dollar multi-year deal.

Trendon Watford

Trendon Watford played under 20 minutes per game for the Blazers last year, backing up Jusuf Nurkic or starting in his place when needed. Watford is a big man who could help the Bulls solidify their paint defense. The Chicago Bulls were reportedly interested in signing Nerlens Noels before he agreed to a deal with the Kings.

This means the Bulls could pivot to finding another big man to fill that final roster spot. Tendon Watford is a prospect who could possibly need some more time in the G-league to help develop his craft.

Disabled Player Exception

The NBA granted the Chicago Bulls a disabled player exception due to Lonzo Ball’s injury. The Bulls can now sign a player on a one-year 10.2 million dollar deal or trade for a player in the last year of their contract and makes under 10.2 million. This exception gives the Bulls a significant advantage over other NBA teams that have already used a majority of their cap space this offseason.

The only issue is that this exception would put the Bulls into the luxury tax, which ownership has continually refused to dip into.

The Decision

The Chicago Bulls filling their final roster spot with Christain Wood using the disabled player exception would top off a solid free-agency haul. The Bulls have added Jevon Carter, Torrey Craig and retained Coby White, Nikola Vucevic, and Ayo Dosunmu. Adding Wood gives the Bulls another option at the power forward position. Patrick Williams is set to start at the PF spot, but adding Wood would allow the Bulls to start a more offensive-minded PF when needed.

The Bulls can sub in Christain Wood if they are struggling offensively and in Patrick Williams if they are struggling defensively. Williams could also get more minutes at the small-forward position when DeRozan goes to the bench. Signing Christain Wood with the disabled player exception would allow the Bulls to acquire someone talented in a low-risk scenario.

If Wood struggled on the team, the Bulls wouldn’t be stuck with a bad contract for multiple years. However, the only way to sign Christain Wood is with ownership willing to pay the luxury tax.
Otherwise, the Bulls may look to add someone on a minimum deal who may not even crack the rotation.

Photo: Getty Images

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