This off-season is going to be the kind that is going to attract more attention than the playoffs, which is saying a lot because the 2014 NBA playoffs have been electric.
Free Agency is a double-edged sword. Teams love it and hate it the same time. Over the last 8 seasons we have seen the odds of winning a championship be in favor of the teams that come out the winners of the off-season.
This off-season, with the draft and the amount of all-stars available, has potential to give one team all the power. This power is held within the free agents. I can not quite speculate on where they are going just yet, but I can rate them based on how much they can raise the odds of a franchise. So here is a list of the top 10 free agents the Chicago Bulls should look to obtain to restructure their team.
10. Darren Collison
Aggressive and intense. That is how I can describe this player. He would be signed as a back up, but in the Bulls system that would be a great option. If he does want to leave LA, the Bulls should really attempt to take him over D.J Augustine for the one reason that Collison plays much better defense than Augustine. Would be a guy Thibs would enjoy.
9. Jodie Meeks
Jodie Meek’s play last season was over shadowed by Swaggy P’s ego and Mike D’Antoni’s incompetence but Jodie can play some ball. While he did not score as much as Swaggy, he did shot a lot better, most noticeably shooting .400 from the 3 point line. Lord knows the Bulls need offense and the Bulls could snag him for the right price. He play off the bench as well, but would have a great impact coming off the bench.
8. Rodney Stuckey
Stuckey has bounced back after having a sub par season. Young guard with a lot of potential and it a decent defender. He is really good at creating his own offense and in case the Bulls do not get Carmelo. Only down side is that Stuckey shoots the ball a lot, and has a horrible 3 point percentage. Under Thibs the 3 point shooting may be discouraged. Still would be a good player to pick up for the right price.
7. Spencer Hawes
While highly unlike the Bulls would be able to sign him as a bench player, Spencer Hawes would be a pretty good back up behind Jokiam Noah. Hawes put up 13 points and 8 rebounds along with 1.2 blocks a game while playing behind Varejao most of the season and was very productive. A team my want to gamble and take him as a starter but in the event they don’t it would be a great grab for the Bulls who can use some help at the center position. Not to mention that Hawes is a pretty good 3-point shooter and can stretch the floor.
6. Avery Bradley
We all know Tom Thibodeau loves him some defense, and Bradley is a very good defender. While showing flashes of a much-needed improvement of his offensive game he has shown that he has potential to make a bigger impact on a team. Should the Bulls want a more solid point guard behind Derrick Rose, Bradley is not a bad option.
5. Gordan Hayward
Hayward has been on the Bulls radar for a while. Should the Bulls miss the chance to get Carmelo Anthony, They should seriously consider taking Hayward. He is a good all around 3 guard can guard, pass and rebound. He is not afraid to drive to the basketball and is an excellent free throw shooter. He is currently growing in his defensive game averaging about 1.4 steals a game and is using his length to his advantage now. Under the Bulls defensive scheme he would more than likely grow into a more effective defender.
4. Lance Stephenson
Silly antics aside, you can never question Stephenson’s hustle and heart. He plays hard, plays good defense, and has the ability to shoot you back into the game. Yes his attitude and maturity leaves for some building, but you can not question that he would not be a good fit on the Bulls roster. His tenacity and electric nature make him one of those hate him or love him type players. Don’t be surprised if the Bulls make him an offer.
3. Pau Gasol
The Bulls have flirted with the idea of bringing in Pau Gasol for a couple of years now. The Lakers do not express the proper amount of interest in Pau, but the Bulls will have plenty of use for him. He has the ability to stretch the floor and is a good defender and rebounder. A huge upgrade over Carlos Boozer. The only question would be how much do can you get him to sign to because he may be seeking a maximum contract.
2. Luol Deng
Yeah, If the Bulls can still get Luol Deng, The definitely should. When he went to Cleveland he never looked worst. Here he has a system and a place. However if he is looking for the max he won’t find it in Chicago. The Bulls would want to sign him to the reduce amount that was negotiated earlier during the regular season. Deng is consistent and an elite defender. It is not unimaginable to see him back in a Bulls uniform.
1. Carmelo Anthony
I have already laid out why the Bulls should pick him up in a previous article, but to recap – He can score and do so at will. The choice however is in his hands. If he stays in New York, it will be for money. If he come to Chicago he will better cement his name in the history books. In Tom Thibodeau’s system he would flourish seeing as he does not have to play great defense. His late game scoring along side Derrick Rose would put this team over the top.