Rather than put all their eggs in the free-agency basket, the Chicago Bulls broke open their piggy banks .
They matched the four-year, $78 million offer sheet by the Sacramento Kings past offseason of Zach LaVine. They traded for Otto Porter Jr. in the 2019 deadline, carrying on the $27.3 million owed next season and his $28.5 million player option for 2020-21.
Some might argue about whether LaVine and Porter should be a roughly $46 million mix. But in Chicago, it might work. Since other franchise columns Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. have numerous years left in their newcomer deals, the money largely balances out. The Bulls should still have approximately $20 million to invest.
They already appear to have a good base around. While Carter suffered a thumb injury before Porter arrived, the latter has had the chance to build a chemistry with LaVine and Markkanen. This trio has generated an eye-opening 6.6 net evaluation across 288 shared minutes.
Especially if Chicago adds yet another top-five choose that summer, it could be building a formidable 25-and-under collection.