Predicting which Bulls will stay and go in 2021 offseason


Artūras Karnišovas foreshadowed changes to the Bulls' roster this offseason. Here's a stab at predicting which players will stay and which will go.

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With just seven words, Artūras Karnišovas emphasized the change that’s coming.

“We’ll have a ton of roster spots,” the Bulls executive vice president said in his season-ending address with reporters.

From this seat, there are only six locks to return from the 2020-21 Bulls and even one of those — Al-Farouq Aminu, who will pick up his player option — would get dealt if the right trade presented. Two more players are more likely than not. And one more from a pool of dependable back-end reserves could return.

Regardless, the 2021-22 Bulls will look significantly different. Here’s one crack at who stays and who goes.


2021-22 contract status: $10.2 million (player option)

2020-21 statistics (Bulls): 1.5 points, 3.2 rebounds

Aminu started 14 games for the Magic after he returned in February from a November 2019 meniscus tear. He never found his footing or role with the Bulls, but he will pick up his player option. Between his reputation as a versatile defender and consummate pro, he can provide wing depth behind Patrick Williams, Troy Brown Jr., and whoever else is there — barring a trade or waive-and-stretch, that is.

Prediction: Staying


2021-22 contract status: $3 million (team option)

2020-21 statistics: 3.1 points, 1.3 assists, nine charges drawn

You can do worse for back-end players than Arcidiacono's dependability and tough-minded approach. Particularly since Arcidiacono fits the culture the new regime is trying to create. He takes charges and supports teammates. He’s a strong practice player.

But ultimately, the Bulls' expected pursuit of a point guard will make his salary a tough casualty of the business.

Prediction: Going


2021-22 contract status: $5.2 million

2020-21 statistics (Bulls): 5.5 points, 3.4 rebounds

52.7% FG

Following his trade deadline day acquisition from the Wizards, Brown quickly placed himself in Billy Donovan’s rotation until a serious left ankle injury sidelined him for the final 15 games. Between Brown’s athleticism, defensive prowess and the Bulls’ lack of wing depth, he projects to play a significant role. Improving his 3-point shot will be important.

Prediction: Staying


2021-22 contract status: Unrestricted free agent

2020-21 statistics: 1.3 points, 1.4 rebounds

Now that his four-year, $32 million deal has expired, the only question is if the center will be in the NBA next season, not if he’s with the Bulls. The safe bet is no.

Prediction: Going


2021-22 contract status: Restricted free agent (qualifying offer: $1.9 million)

2020-21 statistics (Bulls): 2.6 points, 1.2 rebounds, 0.6 steals

The 6-foot-4 guard played well when given late-season minutes. And while his athleticism and defensive toughness could be seen as an upgrade over Arcidiacono, the latter offers more two-way certainty at only a slightly higher cost. Green is about to turn 28. He’s not a project.

Prediction: Going


2021-22 contract status: $19.5 million

2020-21 statistics: 27.4 points, 5 rebounds, 4.9 assists

50.7% FG, 41.9% 3P

After earning his first All-Star selection and playing for a team that moved into win-now mode with its trade deadline activity, the only question is if management uses salary cap space this offseason to renegotiate his current deal or waits until next offseason to extend him.

Prediction: Staying


2021-22 contract status: Restricted free agent (qualifying offer: $9 million)

2020-21 statistics: 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds

 40.2% 3P

Management engaged in trade talks centered around Markkanen and Lonzo Ball at the deadline. And despite his public votes of confidence, Karnišovas isn’t paying upwards of $16 million for a player that Donovan pegged as a reserve because of his poor fit alongside Nikola Vučević.

Unless Donovan changes that approach, the only scenario where a return makes sense — and it’s a massive longshot — is that Markkanen doesn’t like his market in restricted free agency and plays on a qualifying offer to make it to unrestricted free agency in 2022. He would have a no-trade clause for the 2021-22 season in that scenario.

Prediction: Going


2021-22 contact status: $10 million (partial guarantee: $5 million)

2020-21 statistics: 7.7 points, 4.7 assists

51.4% FG

Satoranský's contract is partially guaranteed, but it’s a moot point for next season because the guarantee date is Aug. 1. So he’s either fully guaranteed and on the roster or waived with a $5 million salary cap hit.

Karnišovas values passing and shooting. Satoranský supplies both, along with an ability to start or come off the bench and be effective in either role.

Prediction: Staying


2021-22 contract status: Unrestricted free agent

2020-21 statistics: 7.6 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.2 assists

The well-traveled and highly-respected veteran drew widespread praise for his leadership and professionalism. His defensive versatility and toughness fit as well.

One scenario could be for management to not pick up Arcidiacono’s team option and try to sign Temple on a team-friendly deal. He’ll have interest elsewhere, too, but if the price is right, his positional fit trumps Arcidiacono's. Look for one of those two to be back on a one-year deal. 

Prediction: Staying


2021-22 contract status: Unrestricted free agent

2020-21 statistics (Bulls): 10 points, 5.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists

The rugged, skilled big man will draw widespread interest in free agency because of his versatility and reasonable price point. The Charlotte Hornets are just one potential fit. The Bulls like everything about Theis but also have point guard as a priority for offseason needs. His price tag likely becomes too high.

Prediction: Going


2021-22 contract status: Unrestricted free agent

2020-21 statistics: 6.5 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.7 assists

He didn’t shoot great from 3-point range but does possess the ability to heat up in a hurry and enjoys playing in pressure situations. He’s also an adept passer. But the roster needs two-way players and his confidence leads to recklessness sometimes. He’ll be a rotation player somewhere next season.

Prediction: Going

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