The NBA season is now in the books. The Milwaukee Bucks are the NBA champions and the NBA Draft is coming up on July 29. So the Chicago Bulls should have their inter-division inspiration as well as their initial opportunity to improve firmly in their sights.
The Bulls don’t have a pick in the first round, but they have a second-rounder, some veterans with flexibility contract situations, and potentially valuable young players to deal if a major acquisition is within reach.
One NBA analyst has the Bulls pegged as “big spenders” this offseason.
Chicago Will Spend Big to Improve
Matt Moore of The Action Network has identified Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Spencer Dinwiddie and Lonzo Ball as the top targets for the Bulls. Here is his take:
The Bulls are expected to be big spenders in the free-agency market, particularly at guard. They have $24 million in non-guaranteed salary between Thaddeus Young and Tomas Satoransky, a $3 million team option on Ryan Arcidiacono, and much of the roster are restricted free agents. Four names are tied to Chicago: Kyle Lowry, Dennis Schröder, Lonzo Ball, and Spencer Dinwiddie. Chicago wants a playmaking point guard next to Zach LaVine. The Bulls had extensive talks with New Orleans about a Ball trade at the deadline but weren’t able to reach a deal. Lowry will be the toughest get. Philadelphia, Miami and New Orleans are among the expected suitors for Lowry. The Pelicans would have to find a taker for Eric Bledsoe to make such a deal happen.
Lowry is a six-time NBA All-Star, an NBA champion and one of the best defensive point guards in the league.
In many ways, he would appear to be a strong fit in Chicago, but there are a few factors that suggest the Bulls should look elsewhere.
Kyle Lowry is an Intriguing Fit
When it comes to on-ball defense, physicality, few point guards have an edge on Lowry. He’s also a capable ball handler and passer. This past season, Lowry averaged 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 7.3 assists. He also made just under 40% of his threes while converted 87.5% of his free throws.
By all accounts, it’s hard to find a more solid point guard in the league. The biggest issue with Lowry is his age and the salary he will command.
Lowry just turned 35 in March, and he just raked in $33 million in his last season with the Raptors. Chances are, he won’t be looking to take a pay cut, even in his latter years in the league.
Even if Lowry plays at the level he has recently for the next three seasons, the Bulls have to wonder if their new point guard is too old for the rest of their core. If Chicago is completely in win-now mode, and they are looking to go full speed ahead toward the postseason and possible contention, Lowry can be a player in that kind of movement.
However, is a core of Lowry, Zach LaVine, Patrick Williams and Nikola Vucevic good enough to win or at least contend for a championship?
If Chicago believes it is, the Lowry talk might have some validity.
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