Bulls Eyeing Veteran & # 39; Hardness & # 39; In Free Agency

CHICAGO (670 The Score) – After seeing one of the three youngest NBA rosters absorb a series of adversities this season, executive vice president of basketball operations, John Paxson, has already highlighted one feature that the Bulls should add in free agency this month of July.

"What I will tell you and I know for sure is that we need some physical and mental resistance from some veterinarians to help our boys," Paxson said. "And that will be a priority."

The Bulls plan to have approximately $ 20 million to spend on free agency, a number subject to a slight adjustment depending on the recruitment band and the decisions they make regarding the qualified offers for their own free agents. They have nine players with guaranteed contracts for 2019 – & # 39; 20 and own two draft picks, while reserve guard Shaq Harrison is in an unsecured deal. So the Bulls plan to add at least two players in free agency.

After a disappointing season with Kris Dunn, adding a point guard is a priority. If the Bulls do not do that in the draft on June 20, it will be an obligation in free agency. Patrick Beverley of the Clippers, Darren Collison of the Pacers and Ricky Rubio of the Jazz are three guards that fit into the price range that the Bulls are watching. Tomas Satoransky, of the Wizards, is a combo that is prepared to be a restricted free agent and could be another player to watch.

"We have to improve in that position, there's no doubt in my mind," Paxson said.

"I see our initial line-up with three legitimate 3-point shooters in Zach (LaVine), Lauri (Markkanen) and Otto (Porter) .A shipowner who can get opportunities for those guys will be a priority." Kris will have a chance because he is under contract , but we understand as an organization that it is a position that if we are going to take a step in the right direction that we are going to have to address, we should not go around with that ".

The Bulls may also be looking for another big man, especially if the respected veteran center Robin Lopez starts in free agency. The Bulls would welcome Lopez warmly if the price was right, but many in the league expect him to look for a situation where he can get more playing time. He was the rookie center substitute Wendell Carter Jr. before Carter was sidelined by a thumb injury that ended the season in January.

The Bulls will be recruiting after a 22-60 season that included a change of coach, an almost-practice boycott that attracted national notoriety and a stagnant or uneven growth of several young people due in large part to injuries.

The Bulls have not been able to attract top-tier free agents for more than a decade, but that is not the kind of search they will undertake this summer. They want to add a protection of initial gauge point and depth to take the next step, then think more big from there.

"You always have the opportunity to change that," Paxson said of the perception that free agents do not want to join the Bulls. "My feeling is that the relationships that are really important are with the player and, later, with his agent, if he has good relations with the agent, then he can get people to enter his door in terms of recruitment or hiring. I personally can not listen to or pay attention to outside noise and say those things, some of them are true, some are not.

"I think when you establish yourself, as we try to do now as a relevant team again and position ourselves better to have money when players arise in the future, I think this will be a destination." . Yes. But we have to improve. That is the thing. We have to reach a point where we are playing for important things, but once again, our young people have to become the kind of players that others would like. "I think we have a couple of players right now, and I think we'll have more in the future."

Cody Westerlund is a sports editor for 670 TheScore.com and covers the Bulls. Follow him on Twitter @CodyWesterlund.

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