Why they waited so long is anyone’s guess, but the Chicago Bulls made the signing of Goran Dragic official on Tuesday afternoon.
first mentioned on July 3Dragic’s addition came as a huge surprise across the league. Not only has the 13-year-old been continually linked with his Slovenian friend Luka Doncic in Dallas, but the Bulls were already on guard. Regulation only doubled in the backcourt during the draft as well, picking the high-energy youngster Dalen Terry with the number 18 pick overall.
However, there’s no denying that this roster of Bulls entered this summer in need of veterans in the locker room. Along with Andre Drummond (who, albeit surprisingly young at 28), Dragic will provide a level of clincher experience and on-court composure that this group can use as they look to take the next step in their Eastern Conference rivalry. Not to mention that with Lonzo Ball’s knee still so cloudy, Dragic at least provides trainer Billy Donovan with a steady, plug-and-play hand on the top of the switch.
So with this announcement finally coming out, I thought we might as well check out where the current roster is. It’s almost a month into boot camp, and the group that appears on paper today will likely be the group that will be in uniform on opening night.
The current Chicago Bulls squad for 2022-23:
Zach Lavigne (SG)
Demar DeRozan (SF)
Nikola Vucevic (Midfielder)
Lonzo Ball (PG)
Alex Caruso (G)
Patrick Williams (PF)
Ayo Dosunmo (G)
white kobe (G)
Derek Jones Jr. (F)
Daleen Terry (G/F)
Javonte Green (F)
Andre Drummond (C)
Goran Dragic (PG)
Tony Bradley (Midfielder)
Marko Simonovic (PF/C)
Justin Lewis* (female)
to be announced later on
The roster looks similar to last season, which is exactly what the front office said they wanted to head into summer. However, Dragic and Drummond’s free-agent contracts – in theory – give the bulls more reliable options off the bench, especially when we consider names like Troy Brown Jr. And Tristan Thompson sat there last season. Of course, Terry is another attractive newbie to be thrown into the mix.
The problem with that is that the Bulls haven’t fixed what many would consider their glaring holes after last season. While Dragic is a decent threat to catch and shoot, he’s not a great midtown shooter. Likewise, even as Drummond has shown some progress in his new reserve role over the past two seasons, no one considers the new backup megaman a standout guard. Even Terry, whose two-way potential is baffling when we think about where the Bulls caught on draft night, isn’t someone who expects the Bulls to fix any issues in the short term.
Now, if we were to go for a silver lining, the recoil had to be improved a lot. Drummond can single-handedly fix some obvious issues in this department, as he continues to be one of the best rebounding basketball players on either side of the ball. It will certainly come in handy for a Bulls team who lacks volume and rank a lackluster 17th in rebound rate in 2021-22.
The other problem – if you want to call it that – is the crowded back area of the bull. Once again, this team is set up to be deeper than last season, which we can all agree is a good thing given the number of names that appeared on the injury report last season. However, this predicament not only makes identifying the best laps difficult, it also means that there is still a potential problem when it comes to wing defense and size in the frontal area.
The Bulls allowed their opponent to finish ninth for the most points in the paint last season. The return of a healthy ball back and Caruso should help fix some of their defensive issues, but we’re still talking about just two defensive options down below. Much of the weight will fall on the shoulders of Patrick Williams, who is only 21 and out of a season in which he appeared in a total of 17 regular season basketball games. Sure, Derek Jones Jr.’s seven-foot wingspan might come in handy at times, but it was still scratchy that the Bulls decided to re-sign the six-foot-six forward rather than go for a more conventionally sized back up and forward.
If we want to be technical, I think we can say that Marko Simonovic and Tony Bradley have the size that the Bulls might aspire to at times this season. However, the big juicing problem with fat is that neither of them have been shown to be able to eat consistent minutes at the NBA level, so… yeah… the bummer.
I’m not trying to be Debbie Downer. I have a lot of optimistic thoughts as this season approaches, especially in terms of LaVine, DeRozan and Vucevic playing better as the starting players. But I still have some important question marks about where this list is as a whole, and I think I might divulge some of those here.
With that said, the last thing I’ll say now is that the bull’s second bi-directional aperture appears to be available. While previous reports indicated that the front office had extended Malcolm Hill Bi-directional qualification displayThere seems to be a chance of it being pulled, or that Hill decided not to sign it. In other words, Justin Lewis from Marquette is currently Only formal two-way contract Heading to boot camp, which means there could be open competition for the second slot next month.
Could this be a potential location for another big guy? How about Javon Freeman Liberty, from The Bulls They announced that they signed Before the summer league (I’m assuming there’s an Exhibit-10 contract that would run during boot camp)? Whatever the case, it’s always fun when we get a little competition in the gym! Boot camp can’t be arriving soon enough.