Bulls add free agent Goran Dragic to point guard mix

“Hope” isn’t a plan.

The Bulls latest free-agent agreement was more evidence of that.

It was confirmed that the team reached a one-year deal with veteran point guard Goran Dragic on Sunday, giving them another option in the backcourt, as well as a streaky three-point shooter, but it may have spoken to a larger concern for the franchise.

Specifically, the real health of Lonzo Ball and his left knee.

Bulls general manager Marc Eversley was asked about Ball several weeks ago, and gave a vague answer that then bordered on cryptic.

“Currently working out in [Los Angeles], still doing his [knee] rehab,” Eversley said when he was asked about Ball and the lingering bone bruise that cost him the second half of the season. “We have sent our performance staff to see him every week and track his progress. All reports are good. He’s making progress.”

Eversley was then asked if he was making enough progress to be ready for the start of training camp and replied, “I certainly hope so.”

When pressed on the idea of Ball being able to play if the season were to start today, the GM said he would have to revert those types of answers to the medical staff.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement.

Then again, the Dragic signing could have importance in other ways.

Even if Ball is good to go, the Bulls lacked an experienced point guard behind Ball, as Ayo Dosunmu was cast into that role. The then-rookie was very solid at times, but also seemed to hit a wall the last month of the season or the fact that opposing teams had enough film on him and figured out his tendencies.

Then there’s the idea of was the 36 year old brought in to make Coby White more expendable?

The Sun-Times reported last week that the Bulls had been actively looking to move White since days before the draft, but also weren’t looking to just give the one-time No. 7 overall pick away.

White, who never did really grasp onto the idea of playing the point, was a nice insurance policy in case Ball was again slowed by the knee, but also an expensive one.

The Bulls have to make a decision on White by the fall to either extend him or let him test the market as a restricted free agent, and with Dragic’s deal only $2.9 million that gives the franchise a bit more freedom to make a decision on White.

Finally, Dragic gives the Bulls more playoff experience.

The veteran has played in 60 postseason games and started in 37 of them.

He has a knack for making big shots in key moments on that stage, with his best playoff run coming in the 2019-20 postseason run with Miami, when he averaged 19.1 points and 4.4 assists in 17 games.

The Bulls did reach the first round of the playoffs this season, but were ousted by Milwaukee, looking the part of an inexperienced team. Dragic should help in that area.

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