Best Free Agent Pickups for the Bulls Pt. 2
On June 2, the Bulls needs in the front court were addressed. Today we are going to look at the wing players that the Bulls have to pickup in order be contenders for the NBA Title next year. The small forward and shooting guard positions are not as deep as power forward and center is this year, but there are some good value players available.
Starting Small Forward Carmelo Anthony
(Photo credit knicksonfire.com)
Any discussions about free agency should start with the Bulls trying to get Anthony. He already questioned teammates about playing with coach Tom Thibodeau. The 10-year veteran is desperate to win a championship to solidify his place among the best in the league. Last year, the Knicks wasted an MVP type season from him. He scored 27.4 points per game and added 8.1 rebounds on a team that could not make the playoffs in the east.
The Bulls cannot play a season where Mike Dunleavy Jr is getting a lot of minutes at the small forward position. Dunleavy is a good 3-point shooter, and given less playing time he can contribute to the Bulls when they need bench scoring. The problem is that he was not meant to be the starter when the season started. The Luol Deng trade forced the Bulls to start a role player for the rest of the season. The Bulls lack a player that on offense can play isolation with success.
Anthony is that perfect player for the Bulls right now. He will be a second superstar that is able to score when the game slows down. With Anthony and Derrick Rose, the Bulls would have easy scoring at the wings. Anthony also has the ability to play power forward if Thibodeau wants to go small to matchup with quicker teams.
Starting Shooting Guard Lance Stephenson
(Photo credit nypost.com)
If the Bulls miss out on getting Anthony, the next best option is Stephenson. The 6-foot-5 shooting guard is entering this fourth year in the league, and he is still improving. He is intense on defense, and plays hard every possession. He is the Dennis Rodman of this era, and he can get under the skin of Miami Heat players. The problem was in Indiana he took a lot of bad shots when the offence got stagnate. With a top tier point guard in Rose, Stephenson will not be put in that situation.
He can get into the lane easy against the best defenders, so he can pass it to the open man after the defense breaks down. Along with his 13.8 points per game, he also averaged 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assist. He is close to being a complete player that will come at a reduced price.
The Bulls have to add depth at the either the shooting guard or small forward position this offseason. Jimmy Butler played too many minutes this postseason. Butler almost played every minute of every game against the Wizards, with the addition of a player like Stephenson the Bulls can rest Butler so he can play well in the forth. Stephenson can guard the best player on the opposing team for small minutes, and that will be his true value in Chicago.
Backup Shooting Guard C.J. Miles
(Photo credit knicksonfire.com)
Worst case scenario the Bulls miss out on Anthony and Stephenson, then what do they do. The Bulls can grab 6-foot-6 shooting guard from the Cavaliers Miles. Miles is a bench players if he comes to Chicago. He averaged just under 10 points a game on a team that had scorers like Kyrie Irving and Dion Waiters. Miles shot 39.3 percent from the 3-point line last year.
Miles gives the Bulls better three point shooting something they lacked last year. With Miles and Dunleavy on the court the spacing will be better for Rose and Noah to work at the top of the key. Miles and Dunleavy cannot play long stretches together, because neither are good on the ball defenders. The Bulls need to keep Miles in mind if they want to rebuild the bench.