The Chicago Bulls are one of the front-running teams expected to offer Lonzo Ball a contract this offseason, which according to sources will not be matched by the New Orleans Pelicans.
It’s no question the Bulls need a point guard. Between Coby White‘s inability to facilitate and guard his matchups, and Tomas Satoransky‘s inefficiencies with scoring the basketball, something has to change in the Bulls’ backcourt.
The Bulls need someone who can run the offense. Zach LaVine averaged the most assists per game on the team with 4.9 per game — but that value ranked 37th in the league amongst players.
The team could also use some perimeter defense. Even though they rank in the top-10 teams for the least amount of points from three per game and opposing team three-point percentage, the Bulls point guards had trouble defending their matchups on most nights.
Clippers and Bulls are interested in Lonzo Ball, Pels are “unlikely to match a significant offer sheet,” per @ShamsCharania pic.twitter.com/6U5UMCWGhc
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 13, 2021
Lonzo Ball can help the Bulls in the areas where they need help.
* denotes season career-high
This past season, Ball improved drastically after starting off the season really rough from behind the arc. He finished the season averaging 14.6 points*, 4.8 rebounds, and 5.7 assists per game. He shot 41.4 percent* from the field and 37.8 percent* from behind the arc. He also dramatically increased his percentage from the line, shooting 78.2 percent from the charity stripe this past season, improving from his previous season-best of 56.6 percent.
Ball’s ability to facilitate others is a much-needed area for the Bulls. This would give the Bulls the opportunity to use LaVine, Williams, and White off-ball so Ball can make plays for them.
Ball’s defense is also an added bonus to his game. He has maintained a positive defensive box plus-minus every year of his four-year career and has recorded at least 1.5 steals per game in every season too.
The Bulls ranked below average in the NBA in transition, scoring just 11.5 points per game on fast breaks to rank 19th in the NBA. With Ball’s ability to steal the ball on defense and throw dimes like Justin Fields, *wink* surely Ball will be an excellent fit on both sides of the floor.
How can the Bulls make this happen?
The Bulls have a lot of decisions to make heading into the offseason. The Bulls only have seven guaranteed contracts through next season and the rest will be free agents, including Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young who have partial guarantees on their contracts.
According to basketball.realgm.com, the Bulls are projected to have the ninth most cap space in the NBA this offseason and could have up to $14 million in cap space. They could increase this number by getting rid of more contracts too.
Ball could get anywhere between $15 million to $20 million per year on a long-term deal this offseason. A solid comparison could be Malcolm Brogdon, who makes $22 million per year. However, Ball is 23 years old and Brogdon is 28.
Should the Bulls pursue Ball?
Absolutely, the Bulls need a point guard and Ball is a great choice. He’s young, athletic, has a great basketball IQ, and he checks all the boxes for what the Bulls need in a point guard.
Yes, Ball struggles to shoot the ball consistently and has struggled with turnovers in the past, but he would be a huge upgrade from White and Satoransky and could take the Bulls into the playoffs on the coattails of LaVine and Nikola Vucevic.