Early reports have the Chicago Bulls targeting the front court this offseason, mentioning two specific names
It seems as though the Chicago Bulls are not wasting any time in solidifying their front court for the upcoming season, as it has been reported by Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer:
Sources have also indicated the Bulls are a team with interest in [Rudy] Gobert (and other centers on the market, including Knicks free agent Mitchell Robinson).
If these sources were to be true and play out to be real, who should the Bulls target to boost their frontcourt? Let us take a look at their numbers from this past season:
Gobert: 66 Games played, 66 Games started, 32.1 MPG., 15.6 PPG., 14.7 RPG., 1.1 APG., 2.1 BPG., 0.7 SPG.
Robinson: 72 Games played, 62 Games started, 25.7 MPG., 8.5 PPG., 8.6 RPG., 0.5 APG., 1.8 BPG., 0.8 SPG.
Should the Chicago Bulls trade for Gobert?
Despite his huge contract, a lot of fans would think it is a no-brainer for Chicago to go after the three-time Defensive Player of the Year and two-time NBA All-Star in Gobert.
Bringing in a player of his caliber to Chicago would shake up the league. A potential star trio of DeMar DeRozan, Zach LaVine, and Gobert would produce some winning results for a team that is already pushing a defensive identity. The big move would also generate some interest for other role players to help join the Bulls in a deeper run into the Playoffs.
Going back to his contract, Gobert is due to be paid an average of $42.4 million over the next four seasons.
This kind of salary will obviously limit the Bulls in making any other big signings for the remainder of the offseason, but it cements them as one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. Gobert has proven this past season he hasn’t lost a step, in fact, he continues to get better at the age of 29. He led the lead this past season in FG percentage, shooting 73% from the field. He also led the league in rebounds per game, grabbing 14.7 rebounds a night for the Utah Jazz.
A trade bringing Gobert to Chicago would instantly give the Bulls a chance to compete against the bigger, tougher teams within their Conference. His rebounding and 2.1 blocks per game would be a difference-maker for the Bulls when facing off against the Eastern Conference teams which continue to get stronger and bigger inside.
The Boston Celtics have Robert Williams among many of their inside threats. The Philadelphia 76ers have Joel Embiid doing damage in the paint. The Milwaukee Bucks outrebounded the Bulls in all five games before eliminating Chicago 4-1 in this season’s NBA Playoffs. Adding in Gobert as an enforcer in the paint would allow Chicago to match up against the elite teams in the league.
Should the Chicago Bulls target to sign Robinson in Free Agency?
Looking at Robinson’s 2021-2022 season highlights, he gave the New York Knicks a strong, explosive presence on both sides of the floor. His scoring opportunities normally came from catching alley-oops off the screen and rolls or scoring off one of his offensive rebounds.
Robinson’s numbers have been consistent throughout his short four-year career. This past season, his rebounding numbers went up a notch from 8.1 to 8.6 rebounds a game. More importantly, he finished the season as the second-highest in offensive rebounds per game (4.1 per game).
Robinson has been in the league for four years (all with the Knicks) and now being an unrestricted free agent, he will likely evaluate his options this offseason. If Chicago wants to save some cash and continue shopping for more offseason targets, the 24-year-old Robinson continues to become an attractive signing for them this summer.
With all of the different upsides and downsides for the Bulls to make a move, this is a good sign to see Chicago’s front office involved in rumors to be pursuing a center that can make a difference for them on the glass. The addition of either of these players would begin to address the team’s shortcomings from the previous season.
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