Bulls Notes: Time To Shop For Veteran Help

"A lot of teams are going to be out there spending," John Paxson says.

Cody Westerlund
June 24, 2019 - 5:57 pm

CHICAGO (670 The Score) – After adding North Carolina guard Coby White and Arkansas big man Daniel Gafford in the NBA Draft last Thursday, the Bulls’ attention quickly shifted back to free agency, which opens Sunday evening.

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The Bulls project to have around $23 million in salary cap space and are eyeing veteran help. It’s widely believed that even after adding White as a lead guard, the Bulls will seek to add a veteran point guard to the mix. 

The point guard market is deep, with Kyrie Irving and Kemba Walker headlining it. While the Bulls won’t be shopping in that tier, there are plenty of other options. They include Patrick Beverley, Darren Collison and Ricky Rubio in the next tier and lower-cost options like Elfrid Payton, Cory Joseph and Ish Smith.

Related: Bulls want to 'run with' Coby White

D’Angelo Russell, Malcolm Brogdon and Terry Rozier are also hitting restricted free agency, though it might take a premium to pry them – particularly Brogdon on the Bucks – away from their incumbent teams.

"It’s what the market will be – there’s a lot of money out on the market this summer and a lot of teams are going to be out there spending," Bulls executive vice president of basketball operations John Paxson said Monday. “They’ll be a tier that goes and then there will be some fallbacks, but we have a very good idea of what we want. But we’re going to have to wait until the 30th to go at it. But we know we need to add some veterans.

"With that said, we also have Otto Porter and Zach (LaVine), who are another year older. Lauri (Markkanen) is entering his third year now. Through experience, there’s some leadership that goes on through that. But definitely, we’re looking for a couple veteran guys that fit well with this young group – be pros, show these guys every day what it means to be a professional. Most guys that last a long time in this league, they last because they’ve been pros. They take care of themselves, they’ve played well, they’ve done all the right things. And that’s always best example for young players."

Boylen thrilled with contract extension

At a press conference introducing draft picks Coby White and Daniel Gafford, Bulls coach Jim Boylen on Monday spoke publicly for the first time since the team announced his multi-year contract extension back in May.

The sides met on April 24 to begin negotiations in earnest, Boylen said, before agreeing to terms the next day.

"I’m very pleased," Boylen said. "Obviously, it’s exciting for me to be the head coach of the Chicago Bulls. The process went very smoothly. Again, I go back to the relationship with John and Jerry and Michael and Gar and our ability to talk things out. We met on April 24. I kind of gave my vision of what I thought we could be and what I thought were the important things for me as the head coach. We came to an agreement on the 25th on the contract and what we were going to do. It just all fell into place. It’s been a very easy process and just a very open and transparent process, which I liked. It was direct and honest, which I like to say a lot, which I believe in. It was great. It was great."

Bulls to extend qualifying offer to Arcidiacono

The Bulls plan to extend a qualifying offer to point guard Ryan Arcidiacono, a source said. That will make him a restricted free agent when free agency opens Sunday evening.

It remains unclear if Arcidiacono will be back with Chicago. Both sides appear open to the idea, but if the Bulls land a veteran point guard elsewhere in free agency, they may deem their backcourt to be too crowded.

Arcidiacono, 25, averaged 6.7 points and 3.3 assists while shooting 37.3 percent on 3-pointers in 81 games, including 32 starts, last season. Boylen often praised Arcidiacono for his work ethic, hustle and ability to play within himself as he went from working on a non-guaranteed deal and being question mark to make the roster in training camp to a reliable contributor.

The Bulls don’t currently plan to extend a qualifying offer to wing Wayne Selden, a source said, which will make him an unrestricted free agent. The Bulls acquired him in a midseason trade with the Grizzlies. Selden, 24, averaged 8.0 points and 3.2 rebounds while shooting 40.7 percent in 43 games for Chicago.

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.