The future of Zach LaVine is the most important issue the Bulls need to address this offseason but nailing their first-round pick could be a big boost.
The Bulls have assembled a solid roster under relatively new GM Arturas Karnisovas that should be perennial playoff participants in the Eastern Conference. The challenge for Chicago now is transforming this veteran group from good to great.
Obviously, retaining Zach LaVine in unrestricted free agency is going to be the biggest needle-mover of the offseason for the Bulls. Handing the talented scorer a max deal isn’t free from risk, but it’s a necessity given the way this team is built. Losing LaVine for free would force the Bulls into a teardown they don’t want to undertake.
The balance of the depth chart gives Chicago the flexibility to go for the best player available at No. 18 in the NBA Draft. The team should be looking for a potential star as opposed to an immediate contributor. That’s the only way Chicago can force their way into the NBA’s elite anytime soon.
Who could the Chicago Bulls be targeting in the NBA Draft?
5. Tari Eason
Eason will probably be off the board by the time Chicago goes on the clock in Round 1 but he’d give them an intriguing frontcourt talent to blend into their rotation. He’s just the sort of high-wire, multi-positional defender the team thought they acquired when drafting Patrick Williams back in 2020.
Eason can help Chicago early on with his intense motor and ability to force turnovers. The hope is that he can become a plus shooter as he gets in some skill work with his pro franchise. That could turn him into a high-quality 3-and-D player for a team that lacks that kind of player at the moment. Eason would be a nice combination of risk and reward for the Bulls.