2017 Chicago Bulls

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, David Kay and Peter Christian of the The Sports Bank. Send Paul an e-mail here: paulb05 AT hotmail DOT com.
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Chicago Bulls (Last Year: 41-41)

2017-18 Projected Depth Chart:

C: Robin Lopez

PF: *Nikola Mirotic/Bobby Portis

SF: Jimmy Butler/Paul Zipser

SG: Dwyane Wade/Denzel Valentine

PG: Rajon Rondo/Jerian Grant/*Isaiah Canaan/Cameron Payne

NBA Free Agents:

*PF-Nikola Mirotic (RFA)

PG-Michael Carter-Williams (RFA)

*PG-Isaiah Canaan (TO)

SG-Anthony Morrow (UFA)

C-Cristiano Felicio (UFA)

C-Joffrey Lauvergne (UFA)

2017-18 Team Salary: Approximately $79.2 million

NBA Offseason Team Needs:

1. Dwyane Wade’s Future: Dwyane Wade has a $23.8 million player option for next season. It is unlikely he would get that sort of contract in the open market unless he went to a rebuilding team, and it is similarly unlikely Wade would take a major paycut to play for a contender. More than likely, he returns to the Bulls, but if not, they will need to find a replacement to start on the wing alongside Jimmy Butler.

2. Retain Rondo?: Rondo is owed $13.4 million in 2017-18, but the Bulls can buy out his contract for $3 million, which leaves them with a major decision. Rondo had his share of ups and downs this past season and would open up some needed cap space if Chicago decides to pursue another point guard or turn the job over to the club’s younger floor generals.

3. Frontcourt Depth: Nikola Mirotic is a restricted free agent and likely due for an extension this summer, but I could see the Bulls letting him walk. That leaves Robin Lopez and Bobby Portis as the only frontcourt players guaranteed under contract next season. Chicago will need to pursue a veteran or two in free agency, but could also add a post player with the 16th pick in the 2017 NBA Draft.

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