If the Boston Celtics aren’t the team to lure Lonzo Ball to their ranks in restricted free agency, the Chicago Bulls could be the team that is.
With the Windy City franchise missing the postseason for the fourth straight year in 2021, a pursuit of the 2017 #2 overall NBA Draft choice could be a way to appease 2022 unrestricted free agent Zach LaVine ahead of his final year under contract.
It could also set off a chain reaction that lands the Cs one of the point guards already on Chicago’s active roster.
NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg mulled the idea of Boston bringing on the current Bulls backup point guard:
"If the Chicago Bulls seek a big-splash upgrade at the point guard spot this summer, it could open the door for the Boston Celtics to pursue Tomas Satoransky to add backcourt depth.The Athletic reported Tuesday that the Bulls and Clippers are among the teams interested in making a play for restricted free agent Lonzo Ball this summer."
Satoransky’s deal expires at the end of the 2021-22 season, but his salary this season isn’t fully guaranteed. Instead of his cap hit being the full $10 million, it will count as only $5 million against the cap should he be released.
Chicago may consider that option to open up cap space should Ball be amenable to signing an offer sheet, but Satoransky holds enough value in a trade as well after a shooting a 51/35/85 slash in 2020-21 on under six shots in 22 minutes per game.
If the Cs were to negotiate with the Bulls, Tristan Thompson’s contract would be a good salary match in a swap. Chicago already has Nikola Vucevic at the 5, but Thompson could provide a change of pace at the pivot.
Hardwood Houdini will keep you up to date on any and every free agency plot twist this summer.