ORLANDO, Fla. — Chicago Bulls Didn’t make any moves at NBA trade deadlineBut that doesn’t mean they won’t add one last piece to their roster before the season comes to a close.
The front office has followed this route in recent years; The Bulls added players like Tristan Thompson and Patrick Beverley to meet their need for a final play-off push. And this year, the Bulls got an extra roster spot after Lonzo Ball took the injury exception. Has not played basketball since January 2022 He will not return this season after having surgery on his left knee for the third time.
The acquisition market is always a limited mechanism for acquiring top talent. While the Bulls have plenty of players to add, most had poor seasons or struggled to adapt to their previous coaches or teammates.
The Bulls have been hit or miss with acquisitions in the past — Thompson was relatively ineffective as a backup center after acquiring him in February 2022; Beverley’s brief tenure last season gave the team a boost before falling short in the play-offs. in the tournament.
Filling the gaps left by injuries will be a main priority for the Bulls, and the most glaring hole lies behind the 3-point line. With Zach LaVine is out of season And Patrick Williams remains away from the team indefinitelyThe Bulls have lost most of their three-point shooting volume.
These two players are averaging 3.8 shots per 10.2 attempts, accounting for 32.5% of the team’s shooting rate from beyond the arc. The Bulls have greatly increased their three-point shooting this season, but with these two sidelined they risk falling back into old habits.
The Bulls started their match against the Orlando Magic on Saturday with a score of 25-27 and ranked 9th in the East.
Here are four players to consider in the acquisition market.
Waived by Detroit Pistons
Harris appears to be one of the Bulls’ main targets. According to a report from NBC Sports Chicago, the front office has already expressed interest in the veteran on the buyout market.
Harris, 32, played in only 16 games for the Pistons this season and averaged 2.4 points and 0.6 assists while shooting 33.3% on three-pointers. But the Bulls are probably interested in his background; The 10-year veteran is a career 43.6% three-point shooter and shot 42.6% in 72 games with the Brooklyn Nets last season.
He was released by the Pistons after being traded to the New York Knicks.
Fournier, another high-potential player who hasn’t seen much in minutes, has been a healthy scratch, playing just 13 minutes in three games this season after falling out of favor with Knicks coach Tom Thibodeau.
Bulls center Nikola Vučević took a moment of kindness when Fournier was initially traded from the Knicks by posting a gif over Mel Gibson’s character X shouting “Freedom” in “Braveheart” with the caption “Evan Fournier right now.” showed.
Evan Fournier currently pic.twitter.com/xpBo7JlBd0
— Nikola Vucevic (@NikolaVucevic) February 8, 2024
But if the 31-year-old Fournier can establish a better relationship with the new coach, he should still have a lot to offer as a shooter. He averaged 14 points in a strong tournament for France at last summer’s FIBA World Cup. And he shot 37.8% from three-point range in his 12-year career.
Waiver from Pistons
Gallinari, 35, is an option that could solve two problems for the Bulls: size and shooting. The 6-foot-10 power forward is shooting 38.2 percent in his career and was averaging 35.5 percent this season with the Washington Wizards and Detroit Pistons.
There is reason to worry about how well Gallinari will fit into the defensive schemes that have helped the Bulls survive the past two seasons, but he could be a short-term solution to other weaknesses on this roster.
He was released by the Charlotte Hornets following a trade to the Miami Heat.
This is a slightly different look. Lowry is considered one of the top names on the buyout market after leaving the Heat. He was listed as a priority player for the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as other teams in the Eastern Conference.
Lowry’s long-standing connection with DeMar DeRozan, who played with the Toronto Raptors for six seasons, has been well documented, and the Bulls forward said that as a friend of the guard, he was saddened by the trade more than anything else. Although the two did not attempt to join forces again on a new team, DeRozan said in January: He said he would be open to facilitating talks between the Bulls and Lowry if either party was interested.
At 37 years old, it’s difficult to land Lowry as part of a long-term solution for the Bulls. But he’s still shooting 38.5% from 3-point range on 4.4 attempts per game this season, and he offers some variety at shooting guard that could benefit the Bulls’ bench.