The Chicago Bulls have had a disappointing start to the season, leading to rumblings that they could look to do an in-season teardown. One of the Bulls' most disappointing players has been Patrick Williams, who has seemingly regressed rather than taking a big step forward.
Despite that, a surprising new tidbit from ESPN's Zach Lowe has Williams seeking a new contract worth around $200 million next summer in restricted free agency.
Thus far, he's averaging just 6.4 points, 3.8 rebounds, and shooting only 34.3% from the field. As a result, it's questionable whether he could even command $20 million a season in restricted free agency.
Why Patrick Williams' play may actually help the Bulls.
Given his play thus far, it seems safe to say that he won't get what he's seeking, but would the Bulls consider trading him as a part of a potential fire sale? According to Marc Stein, he has drawn significant interest despite his poor play, with interested teams seemingly believing in his talent.
The Bulls still might too, and while they may move forward with trading DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and even Alex Caruso, Williams is still just 22 years old, making him the ideal age to hold onto as they head into a potential rebuild.
Of course, the Bulls would need to re-sign him, but the silver lining of his poor play is that it is likely to drive down his value enough for them to re-sign him for a song. Williams on an affordable long-term contract would make it easier for him to outperform that deal or make him a possible trade candidate next season. Either way, a $200 million contract is definitely not on the cards for Williams.
Especially after former teammate and fellow 2020 lottery pick Devin Vassell of the Spurs signed for $135 million over five seasons, with Vassell being a superior player. Williams does have age on his side, considering he was the youngest player in the 2020 draft. However, his play this season has decreased hopes that he could have a breakout year and help the Bulls make the playoffs, increasing the likelihood of a rebuild.