Chicago Bulls: 3 point guard upgrade options to explore

Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images
Photo by Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images /
1 of 4
Phoenix Suns
Photo by Scott Varley/MediaNews Group/Torrance Daily Breeze via Getty Images /

It’s no secret the Chicago Bulls are looking to upgrade the point guard position. Here are three options that may solve their dilemma this summer.

The least surprising news of the offseason for the Chicago Bulls is their desire to make a change at the point guard position. Perhaps it’s scapegoating from the front office and fans, perhaps it’s based on a real need, but it’s probably a little of both.

Can the Bulls find an upgrade in the 2019 NBA Draft, where North Carolina’s Coby White or Vanderbilt’s Darius Garland could be potential fits? Will they find their answer via free agency where they could choose from Malcolm Brogdon, Patrick Beverley or Ricky Rubio? And no, Chris Paul of the Houston Rockets isn’t an option, so we can ignore that situation.

Let’s also just assume a Derrick Rose homecoming isn’t likely this summer.

Could Chicago find its new point guard on the trade market, where Memphis Grizzlies veteran Mike Conley will most likely be on the block?

The reality is, Kris Dunn, the incumbent starter, has struggled to show he’s a bona fide NBA starter. While his 3-point shooting improved slightly in 2018-19, from 32.1 percent in 2017-18 to 35.4 percent, Dunn was actually worse within the arc. Last season Dunn shot 44.1 percent on 2-point field goals, down from 45.7 percent in 2017-18.

There’s probably some truth to Dunn’s claim that he wasn’t used the way he expected last season, as he detailed to The Athletic’s Darnell Mayberry. After all, his usage rate was a paltry 20.1 percent in 2018-19. By comparison, Mike Conley, who has been linked to the Bulls this offseason, posted a 26.1 percent usage rate.

Poor shooting alone hasn’t been Dunn’s downfall, and his role isn’t solely to blame either. When he’s had the ball in his hands, he’s often either tentative and hesitant to shoot, or reckless, driving into crowds and creating needless turnovers. His feel for the game as a starting lead guard is a real cause for concern.

Dunn’s Player Impact Estimate (PIE), which measures a player’s contribution statistically, was 8.4. Using Conley as a comparison again, Dunn fell far short to the Grizzlies veteran point guard, who posted a 15.4 PIE.

As a result, it’s no wonder the Bulls front office is looking at its options this summer. Keeping in mind Chicago’s expected current salary cap space of approximately $20 million, let’s take a look at three options they may choose from.