The Chicago Bulls are expected to be a major player this offseason. They are armed with two first round draft picks (numbers 16 and 19), young assets and potential cap spacer if they use the amnesty clause to waive power forward Carlos Boozer.
The Bulls are expected to pursue perhaps the two best players available (provided the Miami Heat’s big three of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh remain in South Beach), New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony and Minnesota Timberwolves’ power forward Kevin Love. Of course, acquiring either player will be very difficult, so the Bulls could look in a different direction.
Nate Duncan of Basketball Insiders wonders if the Bulls would pursue Toronto Raptors’ point guard Kyle Lowry, who is set to become a free agent.
Meanwhile, Rose and Lowry could make a great pairing on offense. One of the two would have the speed advantage against an opposing wing, and they could both handle the ball and run multiple pick and rolls off ball reversals. Rose is much more effective shooting set shot threes on kickouts than off the dribble, while Lowry is an excellent threat from behind the arc. He took 46 percent of his shots from there and drilled 38 percent. Finally, Lowry would offer great insurance if Rose misses time again.
The Bulls could potentially offer Lowry up to a four-year contract starting for as much as $12 million per year and totaling $51.2 million with a few of the cap methods mentioned in the Anthony section. This would be a pretty big overpay, but less so than offering a wing player their available cap space.
Lowry averaged 17.9 points, 7.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the Raptors last season.