As the Chicago Bulls prepare for the upcoming offseason, there are quite a few questions that they need to answer. One of those questions will be which players they want to pursue in free agency. They could also choose to be patient and save money for future free agency classes, especially the star-studded 2019 free agency market.
While the Bulls could consider saving their money for another opportunity, there are a few players that could help them get back into playoff contention this offseason. One of those free agents could be Julius Randle, who is a restricted free agent this offseason.
Randle has been an important piece of the Los Angeles Lakers’ rebuilding process and may end up being allowed to leave town this offseason. Magic Johnson and company are hoping to bring in a star or two to help speed up the Lakers’ rebuild, and they have come close to opening up room for two max contracts. If they were to re-sign Randle, the Lakers would be unable to sign two max contract players.
Last season with the Lakers, Randle ended up averaging 16.1 points per game to go along with 8.0 rebounds and 2.6 assists. He shot 55.8 percent from the field overall and knocked down 71.8 percent of his foul shots.
At 23 years of age, Randle could end up being exactly what the Bulls need moving forward. They could use another strong front-court presence to go along with their first-round pick from last offseason, Lauri Markkanen. Randle and Markkanen could end up forming a deadly duo long-term in Chicago.
It will be interesting to see what the Bulls end up deciding to do this offseason. They are going to have another high draft pick, currently holding the No. 7 overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Chicago may consider taking one of the top guards in the draft, namely Trae Young and Collin Sexton.
Adding a talent like Randle would give the Bulls an extremely intriguing lineup. Chicago could end up trotting out a lineup that includes Young or Sexton, Zach LaVine, Randle, and Markkanene. Throw in a good starting small forward and the Bulls would be a tough team to beat.
Looking ahead to free agency, there are going to be quite a few teams interested in signing Randle. Among those teams are the Lakers, Indiana Pacers, Dallas Mavericks, and Phoenix Suns. All four of those teams would make perfect sense for Randle and will give the Bulls a run for their money should they choose to pursue him.
Before the 2017-18 NBA season with the Lakers, Randle had not shown the star potential that many thought they would see from him early on in his career. Randle finally broke out for the Lakers, even receiving some comparisons to Golden State Warriors star Draymond Green. Not only did he show major improvement on the offensive end of the court, Randle also became a tough defender.
Randle isn’t going to be a piece that makes the Bulls a title contender immediately. Fred Hoiberg and company are going to have a bit of a process to go through in order to get back to that point. That being said, Randle is exactly the kind of all-around player that Chicago needs.
Expect to see the Bulls pursue a couple big name free agents this offseason. Randle may not end up being one of their targets, but he certainly would make sense.
If Randle does end up leaving the Lakers this offseason, the Bulls might just happen to be one of the best possible landing spots for him.