As the Chicago Bulls head into the NBA offseason, there are so many question marks for the front office to answer. Will the Bulls continue their rebuilding process slowly or be aggressive in free agency? If they are going to be aggressive in free agency, are they going to target young players or players that could help them compete now?
There might be a perfect free agent to target that could achieve the goal to win both now and in the future. That free agent would be point guard Isaiah Thomas.
At 29 years old, Thomas still has quite a few years of basketball left in him. He has had some hip injury issues the last couple of years, but he is taking care of the issues this offseason. Thomas recently stated that he is officially pain-free, as noted in a report from Bleacher Report.
“I haven’t been able to really workout & get better in over a year! Finally pain free. This is going to be fun!!! #ThatSLOWgrind.”
Just last season, Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game. He was one of the best players in the NBA and looked to be the Boston Celtics’ franchise player for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately for Thomas, the Celtics decided to trade him in the deal that brought Kyrie Irving back to Boston.
Thomas did not fit well with the Cleveland Cavaliers and ended up getting traded ahead of the trade deadline. He went to the Los Angeles Lakers and proceeded to put up decent numbers, but on poor shooting percentages. There is a good chance that his value dropped a bit heading into free agency and he might not be a max contract type of player anymore.
That reason makes Thomas a very intriguing target for the Bulls this offseason. Perhaps they could get a deal done with Thomas for two years on a reasonable contract — it could boost their rebuilding process.
Last season in the 17 games with the Lakers, Thomas ended up averaging 15.6 points and 5.0 assists per game. He shot just 38.3 percent from the field overall and knocked down 32.7 percent of his three-point attempts.
Chicago could use an upgrade at the point guard position. Kris Dunn improved in a big way in his second NBA season, but Thomas would be a much better fit for the Bulls. They could also use some more scoring in the lineup, which is what Thomas is known for anyway.
Even though Thomas’ numbers last season were not what teams have come to expect from him, the potential to get back to his superstar status is still there. Chicago would have an entertaining back-court with Thomas and Zach LaVine, while also having the developing Lauri Markkanen and their first-round pick this year to build around.
If the Bulls do want to sign Thomas, they are going to have some competition. Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs, Indiana Pacers, and Detroit Pistons have all been connected to Thomas.
Expect to hear Thomas’ name mentioned often in rumors this offseason. Chicago may not end up being one of the teams interested in signing him, but the two sides would make a lot of sense for each other.