Only a day after Chicago Bulls second-round decide Daniel Gafford impressed in his Summer season League debut, he agreed to a four-year, $6.1 million contract with the membership, per Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium. The Bulls used cap space for Gafford’s contract, giving him two absolutely assured years at basically the minimal and securing Fowl rights after the third season.
The Bulls chosen Gafford out of Arkansas with the No. 38 decide on this yr’s draft. The 6-foot-11 massive man could have been a lottery decide if he stayed within the 2018 NBA Draft, however he returned to high school for a sophomore season and wound up falling into the second spherical this yr.
Gafford made waves in Chicago’s Summer season League opener towards the Los Angeles Lakers on Friday evening. He went for 21 factors on 9-of-10 capturing to associate with 10 rebounds and 4 blocks:
Gafford was a lot quieter in his second recreation towards the Cleveland Cavaliers with eight factors and eight rebounds, however he made his influence felt with six blocks in Monday’s recreation towards the New Orleans Pelicans, albeit it in an unpleasant defeat.
After three video games in Las Vegas, Gafford is averaging 11.7 factors, 8.7 rebounds and three.three blocks whereas capturing 68% from the sphere. The three.three blocks per recreation is tops in Vegas, and his capturing proportion is the most effective amongst gamers with 20-plus makes an attempt.
Gafford is bringing an energetic presence to the Bulls’ heart place in Vegas, but as Mark Strotman at NBC Sports Chicago notes, he’ll want to indicate extra versatility with the intention to make an actual influence within the NBA. He could make performs across the rim on each ends, however he does not provide something away from the basket offensively and might want to work on his perimeter protection as properly.
Nonetheless, Gafford is already trying extra promising than Cristiano Felicio, although Summer season League caveats should apply.
In different roster selections, the Bulls determined to waive Shaquille Harrison and Walter Lemon Jr., who had small non-guaranteed contracts. Harrison impressed defensively this previous season, however he is the sufferer of a roster crunch as Chicago is as much as 15 assured contracts. Whereas the Bulls nonetheless have a two-way contract out there to associate with Adam Mokoka’s two-way deal, Harrison will probably be searching for an ordinary NBA contract after his stellar 2018-19 marketing campaign. Maybe Harrison would settle for a two-way contract again in Chicago if he does not get a greater deal elsewhere, or perhaps Lemon or anyone else solely would be the different recipient.
The Bulls’ 15-man roster might very properly be set at this level, however Kris Dunn’s standing seems to nonetheless be up within the air.
K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune reported over the weekend that Dunn is certainly “available for the right price,” and there have been even discussions with the Memphis Grizzlies a few sign-and-trade deal involving Justin Vacation. The Bulls traded Vacation to the Grizzlies this previous season for Wayne Selden Jr., MarShon Brooks and a pair of second-round picks.
These discussions is perhaps useless given Memphis signed Minnesota Timberwolves level guard Tyus Jones to a proposal sheet over the weekend, however buying and selling Dunn for a wing shooter is one thing Chicago is taking a look at to stability out the roster. Bulls govt vp of basketball operations John Paxson just lately acknowledged as a lot, per Johnson:
“We do value Kris. And I think with the players we’ve added, his size and his defensive ability can play well with Tomas and Coby in certain lineups. But if we have an opportunity to balance our roster, get another wing who can help space the floor with shooting, we’ll look at that.”
Chicago shouldn’t simply dump Dunn, but when there’s a possibility to get a wing shooter in a commerce or high quality draft compensation plus an open roster spot for that wing shooter, Paxson ought to take it if he has a goal in thoughts. The Bulls do nonetheless have the choice of merely waiving Antonio Blakeney and his low cost assured contract with the intention to open up a roster spot for an improve on the wing, however it’s not clear if they’ve any curiosity in consuming that cash.
If the Bulls wish to get actual loopy, they might additionally insert themselves into the Russell Westbrook commerce discussions, however there is not any proof of their curiosity at this level.