- The Knicks’ desire to sign Celtics point guard Kyrie Irving could have a negative impact on the Bulls’ free agency plans next summer, according to an NBC Sports Chicago post. The Knicks have reportedly made Irving their No. 1 target in free agency and it’s been previously rumored that Irving and Jimmy Butler might join forces. If the Bulls wanted to bring back Butler after trading him away last summer, Irving’s potential interest in the Knicks could sidetrack that plan, the report adds.
Sampson is a three-year veteran who has spent time with three NBA teams. He played 22 games for the Kings last season, averaging 4.7 points and 3.5 rebounds per night. Sampson started his career with the Sixers, then joined the Nuggets after being waived in 2016.
The addition of Sampson comes on the heels of a reported deal with Kaiser Gates, a rookie out of Xavier.
Kaiser Gates has agreed to a training camp contract with the Bulls, tweets Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
Gates was part of the Bulls’ entry in the Las Vegas Summer League, scoring 6.7 PPG. He went undrafted out of Xavier, where he averaged 7.2 points and 4.6 rebounds per game as a junior. He shot 37.8% from 3-point range last year.
The signing of Gates will bring the Bulls up to 19 players, one short of the roster limit for training camp. They have 14 guaranteed contracts.
Hoops Rumors is breaking down the 2018 offseason for all 30 NBA teams, revisiting the summer’s free agent signings, trades, draft picks, departures, and more. We’ll evaluate each team’s moves from the last several months and look ahead to what the 2018/19 season holds for all 30 franchises. Today, we’re focusing on the Chicago Bulls.
- Standard contracts:
- Two-way contracts:
- Non-guaranteed camp contracts:
- Acquired Julyan Stone in a three-way trade with the Hornets and Magic in exchange for Jerian Grant (to Magic).
- Note: Stone later waived.
- 1-7: Wendell Carter — Signed to rookie contract.
- 1-22: Chandler Hutchison — Signed to rookie contract.
Other offseason news:
- Announced a series of promotions in basketball operations department.
Salary cap situation:
- Used cap space; now over the cap.
- Carrying approximately $102.6MM in guaranteed salaries.
- Full room exception ($4.45MM) still available.
Check out the Chicago Bulls’ full roster and depth chart at RosterResource.com.
Story of the summer:
It’s easy to forget that this time two years ago the Bulls were embarking on an ultimately futile attempt to compete within the window of Jimmy Butler‘s prime. Fast forward to today and things are about as promising as they possibly could be for a team that still won’t crack 35 wins.
What’s different about the Bulls this summer is that we’re looking back on the package John Paxson and Gar Forman landed in exchange for Butler entirely differently. Now, frankly, the fact that the club managed to yield Lauri Markkanen and Zach LaVine in exchange for their outgoing star is hard to believe, let alone incredibly underrated guard Kris Dunn as well.
Sprinkle lottery pick Wendell Carter Jr., per-minute god Bobby Portis and the No. 2 pick of the absurdly hyped 2014 draft class (who we will talk about later) and you have some serious cause for optimism. The Bulls have a roster packed with intriguing, hypothetically great assets. This is the honeymoon phase of any good rebuild.
Signing Jabari Parker away from the Bucks was a low-risk, high-reward move that could significantly raise the Bulls‘ talent level, writes Spencer Davies of Basketball Insiders in that site’s season preview for Chicago. Parker got a two-year, $40MM deal that Milwaukee elected not to match. However, only the first season is guaranteed, so the Bulls can treat it like an expiring contract if things don’t work out.
Parker provided some reasons for optimism last season after returning from ACL surgery on his left knee. He averaged 12.6 PPG and 4.9 RPG in 31 games while shooting 48% from the field and 38% from 3-point range. There are still questions about his defense, which may improve after a summer off to rest the knee, and he will have to adjust to the small forward spot in Chicago.
In the same preview, the Basketball Insiders crew tabs rookie Wendell Carter as the Bulls’ best defensive player and states that Fred Hoiberg is finally getting to coach the style of team he envisioned when he took the job.
There’s more today from the Central Division:
- Glenn Robinson III’s 3-point shooting may help him win a starting job with the Pistons, Keith Langlois of NBA.com notes in a mailbag column. Robinson and Stanley Johnson are the only natural small forwards on Detroit’s roster, and while Johnson is the better defender, Robinson has the size and athleticism to help on that end of the court. New coach Dwane Casey plans to emphasize 3-pointers, which gives Robinson a chance for significant playing time, whether as a starter or reserve.
- The Pistons could have a tough time keeping Reggie Bullock next summer without making some roster moves to free up cap space, Langlois adds in the same piece. Bullock and Johnson are both headed toward free agency, but Johnson will be restricted if Detroit makes a qualifying offer. Bullock will be seeking a raise from this year’s $2.5MM salary, and the team already has nearly $105MM committed for 2019/20.
- Nate McMillan became just the second coach in Pacers history to receive a contract extension when his new deal was announced this week, observes Mark Montieth of NBA.com. McMillan far exceeded expectations last year in leading Indiana to a 48-win season after the team traded away Paul George.
- Jim Paxson’s title with the Bulls has been changed from director of basketball operations to director of pro personnel, the team announced in a press release. The Bulls also promoted Brian Hagen to associate GM, Steve Weinman to assistant GM and and Miles Abbett to manager of minor league scouting and analytics.
- Mike Budenholzer may be having “buyer’s remorse” over taking the Bucks‘ head coaching job after the loss of free agent Jabari Parker, suggests Gery Woelfel of WoelfelsPressBox in his latest podcast. He adds that the entire organization was counting on Parker to stay and never expected him to get an offer in the $20MM range like the Bulls gave him.
- Shane Rhodes of Basketball Insiders examines some potential surprise teams for the 2018/19 season, suggesting that the Bulls, Mavericks, Pistons, Clippers, and Suns are candidates to exceed expectations.
Bulls GM Gar Forman has done a good job of acquiring young talent but the hard part is yet to come, as Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times explains. Chicago will need to use its cap room and land at least one star player to become a major threat in the Eastern Conference, Cowley continues. Forman’s reputation around the league is shaky and he’s never been able to land such a player in his current position. That could eventually wreck this rebuilding project, Cowley concludes.