NBA Rumors: Chicago pursuing the best remaining free agent

Zach LaVine #8 and DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Zach LaVine #8 and DeMar DeRozan #11 of the Chicago Bulls (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Despite a disappointing 2022–23 season, the Chicago Bulls appear set to run it back next season. They re-signed starting center Nikola Vucevic, decided against trading all-stars Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan, and looks like they will be able to bring back restricted free agent Ayo Dosunmu on a cheap deal. With limited options at the start of free agency, that was perhaps the best the team could do.

However, with the news that the Bulls were granted a $10.2 million disabled player exception by the NBA, that may no longer be the case. According to Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times, Chicago is interested in free agent center Christian Wood, and that disabled player exception may be enough to sign him.

Should the Chicago Bulls sign Christian Wood?

Wood stands out among the remaining free agency choices for the Bulls. The 27-year-old big man is regarded as a skilled offensive player but has played for seven teams in seven seasons.

That has understandably been viewed as a red flag and is likely the reason he remains unsigned. Chicago can afford to take a flyer on him given his talent and could even offer him a one-year contract worth up to $10.2 million.

Then again, with apparently no teams willing to offer more than the minimum, a one-year contract worth $7 million might be enough for the Bulls to land Wood. Doing so would allow them to potentially bolster their bench while also staying under the luxury tax, which is likely a high priority for the team’s front office.

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With other teams not lining up to sign him, there is a risk that they know more than the Bulls and that he won’t work out. Even then, he is arguably the best remaining free agent and Chicago’s disabled player exception is large enough to sign him while still staying under the tax. Based on that, the risk would likely be minimal, and Wood may actually help the Bulls next season.