Bulls free agency rumors: Chicago set to give Lonzo Ball $80 million offer sheet; is Derrick Rose plan B?

The Bulls are still looking for their point guard of the future. Chicago has struggled to find an option at the position since Derrick Rose left the team after the 2016-17 season.

Since then, the Bulls have tried a plethora of options at point guard. Kris Dunn, Cameron Payne, Ryan Arcidiacono, Coby White and Tomas Satoransky have tried to fill the void. So far, the team hasn’t been successful in doing so.

As such, the Bulls are looking to target a proven free agent to try to upgrade the position. The team is considering giving Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball a hefty offer sheet, reports Jake Fisher of Bleacher Report.

For the Bulls, there’s believed to be mutual interest with Lonzo Ball on a four-year deal worth over $80 million. If the Pelicans do not renounce Ball, that agreement would have to come via an offer sheet, which New Orleans would have the option to match.

Restricted free agents must be signed to offer sheets, so the Pelicans would have the ability to match any deal Ball reaches with another team. However, this price may be prohibitive for New Orleans, especially if the Pelicans remain in on the Kyle Lowry sweepstakes.

Ball certainly would give the Bulls a proven option with strong all-around ability. He averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 assists, 4.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game last year in New Orleans. He’s not the best shooter, but he’s coming off a career-high 41.4 field-goal percentage and 37.8 percent mark from beyond the arc. He will have to continue to make strides if the Bulls do give him a contract that is worth $20 million annually. Ball doesn’t turn 24 until October, so he still has plenty of time to continue improving his craft as a shooter.

If New Orleans decides to keep Ball, the Bulls have a familiar backup plan in mind. Per Fisher, “mutual interest exists between Derrick Rose” and the Bulls after his strong season with the Knicks. Rose, 32, averaged 14.9 points, 4.2 assists and 2.9 rebounds in 26.8 minutes per game in 35 appearances for New York last year. He shot 48.7 percent from the field and a career-best 41.1 percent from 3-point range.

While Ball would be a long-term option, Rose would be a stopgap starter who could help to mentor White and fill in for him while he returns from a shoulder injury. Rose himself has struggled with injuries during his career, however, so that plus his age would make him cheaper than Ball.

Regardless of what the Bulls do, they appear to be in the market for some point guard help. Don’t be surprised to see them land one of the bigger fish in the pond as a result.

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