Chicago Bulls GM Marc Eversley hints at a free agent priorityRyan Heckmanon June 27, 2022 at 11:00 am

Just four days from now, the Chicago Bulls and rest of the NBA will enter the much anticipated free agency period of the offseason.

On June 30, it’s presumed that the free agency period will begin at 6PM ET, although no official time has been set just yet — which seems a bit different than recent years. Still, you can expect deals to begin getting announced either the night of June 30 or morning of July 1.

Now, for the Bulls, they are a team with plenty of work to do during this time frame. Obviously, priority number one is to ensure Zach LaVine stays. From the sounds of it, general manager Marc Eversley is ready to do whatever it takes to keep him in Chicago.

Other than re-signing LaVine to what is likely to be a max contract, Eversley has another priority in mind. Following the 2022 NBA Draft, Eversley told a group of reporters that he would really like to get someone to compliment starting center Nikola Vucevic.

Signing a quality veteran to back up Nikola Vucevic is a strong priority for the Chicago Bulls in free agency.

“(That is) certainly something that we’ve discussed as a staff, getting somebody to complement what Vooch (Nikola Vu?evi?) does, particularly rim protection,” Eversley said. “Just kind of patrolling that paint and making sure that we have somebody there who can lock it down. It’s something that we intend on addressing. Whether that’s via free agency or trade it’s something that we’re pretty focused on.”

The intriguing part of Eversley’s comments is where he mentions the possibility of a trade. Most would have assumed that, if the Bulls were going to trade for a big man, it would be Utah Jazz All Star center Rudy Gobert, just as it’s been rumored.

But, with Eversley’s comments about Vucevic, it seems as though the team is going to keep him around — at least, that’s what one would assume. As fans know, a lot of what’s said prior to any moves actually happening could end up being smoke. What really happens, we will know in a short period of time.

If Chicago does indeed keep Vucevic, there are some quality big men available in free agency to help back him up. Some include Orlando Magic center Mo Bamba, Indiana Pacers center Jalen Smith and Charlotte Hornets center Montrezl Harrell.

Last season, both Tony Bradley and Tristan Thompson were far from the type of depth Chicago would have liked to have behind Vucevic. In fact, there were times that Javonte Green and Derrick Jones Jr. did a better job playing a small ball five than either of them — which is pretty telling.

Once a deal for LaVine is announced, watch for the Bulls to act quickly and find help to back up Vucevic.

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