The Chicago Bulls right now are in a weird position. After a season of toying with the massive free agent haul that brought former yet washed up All-Stars Rajon Rondo and Dwyane Wade on board and moving the prodigal son of Chicago Derrick Rose to New York for essentially Robin Lopez, the Bulls were perceived as a massive wild card. And ohhhh, were they wild this season.
They barely squeaked into the playoffs after holding the tiebreaker over the Miami Heat and were only two games from eliminating the first seeded Boston Celtics in the first round. But now, the future is murky for a team six years removed from an Eastern Conference Finals appearance.
With aging veterans hogging the starting roles and with Fred Hoiberg banishing the promising young blood the Bulls flaunt to the bench, the future in Chicago is as bright as they want it to be. However, GarPax’s stubbornness to hit the self-destruct button and rebuild is getting increasingly more alarming every year the Bulls peep in and out of the first and sometimes second round of the playoffs.
So here we are today folks. We’re going to explore the dream signings the Bulls can make in the near future. And by “the” I mean three because I can’t think of any more than that. Arriving at such a scary crossroads in as little as a season, these moves could arguably be franchise saving for a team on the total downfall. And just forewarning you fellow reader, yes, these will be a little starry-eyed but not impossible. These are dream signings, not realistic predictions.
So let’s hop to it.
Dream Signing 1: Klay Thompson, SG, Golden State
It’s no secret to anyone that Thompson’s future with the Warriors is fuzzy at best. By 2019, he will be an unrestricted free agent. That usually would not be an issue except the fact that fellow Splash Bro Steph Curry is eligible for a max contract this summer and Kevin Durant potentially landing his own super max contract the next.
Not to mention Draymond Green is set to be a free agent only a season after Thompson finds himself in free agency. Klay could easily end up being the odd man out and the Warriors are forced to end the Splash Brother era.
And the best place for him to go? Chicago. Well, the place all Bulls fans want him to go anyway. One of the Bulls biggest flaws is a lack of a true number one scorer. Jimmy Butler is a top two-way player in the league but he is far from good enough to run an offense by himself. Wade is crumbling and Rondo was never a scorer. Former Michigan State Spartan Denzel Valentine could likely be a strong offensive player but far from the 28 points a night player the Bulls desire.
Klay has built a career in professional basketball on his shooting and scoring ability. Cough cough 37 points in one quarter cough cough. Few players possess the volume scoring that Klay can achieve on a good night.
The Bulls need a scorer. Thompson is a scorer. Do I need to explain more? This is a match made in basketball Heaven.
Dream Signing 2: Blake Griffin, PF, Los Angeles Clippers
This one is a long shot, but dream signings, remember? The five-time All-Star would realistically be a great fit in the bright lights of Chicago.
If Griffin chooses to not resign with the Clippers, which is more than possible considering the lack of success there and with fellow Lob City member Chris Paul being on the outs, the Bulls would be imbecilic to not pursue him. There are a couple reasons GarPax can’t pass up Griffin.
For one thing, the Bulls need an at the minimum talented big man. Robin Lopez is far from the worst center in the NBA and Bobby Portis has shown flashes but there isn’t anything there to convey superstardom. They lack highlights in the paint and sometimes a way to start crawling back to relevance is loading up on big names who can still ball.
On top of requiring a great big man, the Bulls also need a player to put on headlines and get fans back into Chicago basketball. As of right now, the Bulls have All-NBA Third Team member Jimmy Butler to hold that face of the franchise spot down but I don’t think many will disagree when I say he’s not a superstar.
Blake Griffin was one of the league’s most popular players, as fans loved his seismic dunks and chill demeanor. Obviously after a rough 2015 season where he fought injuries and coaches and injuries from those fights derailed his career just a tad and now he’s searching for redemption.
Hmmmm, which team in the NBA is searching for the same thing after being consistent bubble teams only a season from top contenders to the Cavaliers? Hmmmmmmm…
Oh right, the Bulls.
Both are searching for redemption and both could find it together while both succeed more than they both have had for years.
Dream Signing 3: Paul Millsap, PF, Atlanta
This is easily the most realistic of the three dreams we have, as Millsap is not on the same level of basketball stardom as Griffin or Thompson. Millsap is for sure a free agent after he left the Hawks high and dry when opting out. And coming to Chicago could be in his best interests.
As I said earlier, the Bulls need a star big man. And the four time All-Star is in most senses, a star. He is a consistent rebounding forward who can take over the number two scorer with ease.
This is something the Bulls would kill for at this point, with only ten point scorer Robin Lopez holding down the big man offense. A one-two punch of Jimmy Butler and Paul Millsap would be exactly what the doctor ordered.
However, with Millsap’s age makes this signing somewhat of a risk. At 32 years of age, there’s no doubt his best years are behind him and he may not be able to replicate All-Star level years for much longer. But in all reality, this signing is for a contributing mentor than a contributing star.
With young big men Bobby Portis and Nikola Mirotic being the faces of the future for the Bulls, there has to be someone to help mold them in the locker room and on the court. Someone has to help teach them. And right now, the only veteran big man on the roster is Lopez. Millsap would be a perfect mentor for them.
Also, the Bulls need an alpha dog. After a season of turmoil and internal controversy, adding the level headed Millsap could be perfect to help keep the peace in the locker room. He is without a doubt the best option for the Bulls in terms of both production and teaching the future.