The Bulls added two new, defensive-minded free agent forwards over the weekend to build out their bench depth. Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times examines how the new pair of Stanley Johnson and Alize Johnson should fit for Chicago.
As Cowley writes, after the Bulls lost out on the sweepstakes to veteran Paul Millsap as their main reserve power forward, the team quickly pivoted to the Johnsons. Though neither player is much of a jump-shooter, both are young and athletic.
Due to a shallow frontcourt, Stanley and Alize Johnson should each see plenty of playing time behind starters DeMar DeRozan and Patrick Williams and pricier reserve Derrick Jones Jr. Cowley adds that the 6’7″ Alize Johnson could see some spot minutes as a small-ball center. All-Star Nikola Vucevic, and newly-added main backup Tony Bradley figure to see more minutes at the position. Johnson could compete with rookie center Marko Simonovic for occasional run at the five.
There’s more out of the Central Division:
- The Bulls appear to be closing in on their opening night roster after a busy offseason. Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago reviews Chicago’s depth chart heading into the 2021/22 season. Schaefer lauds the club’s creativity in thoroughly remaking itself this summer, a process that required several complex sign-and-trade agreements.
- Bucks reserve big man Bobby Portis, who is returning to Milwaukee on a team-friendly two-year, $9MM deal, chatted with Shams Charania of Stadium to discuss his free agent decision and his future with the team (Twitter video link). During the conversation, Charania observed that the Heat and Mavericks were among the playoff clubs seeking Portis’ services during the 2021 offseason. “This is a winning environment,” Portis said of the team with which he won a title this year. He noted that 2021 Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo did he darnedest to ensure that Portis return to the Bucks as he entered free agency. “To have a guy like Giannis call me, wanting me to stay… is just great.”
- In case you missed it, the Cavaliers are continuing to explore adding swingman bench depth. Free agents Garrison Mathews and Denzel Valentine are among some of the names being considered.