It appears the Chicago Bulls — a team with an interesting young frontcourt, but one with questions — is going to take a flier on Noah Vonleh. At least through training camp.
Chicago reached a one-year deal with Vonleh, a story broken by Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.
Chicago already had 15 guaranteed contracts on the roster, the max it can carry, so it is likely Vonleh is non-guaranteed and more of a training camp flier (we do not know the details of the deal yet). If he plays well and sticks, the team can waive or trade one of its guaranteed deals to make room.
Vonleh, entering his seventh NBA season, is still just 25 and shows flashes of the skill that had Charlotte drafting him No. 9 back in 2014. Last season, splitting time between Minnesota and Denver, Vonleh averaged 3.7 points and 3.4 rebounds a game (playing just over 10 minutes a night). He has good handles, there are moments where the three-point shot falls, and spurts where he looks like a switchable defender who can guard multiple positions. However, none of it really ever comes together at the same time or is consistent.
Chicago will start Lauri Markkanen and Wendell Carter Jr. up front, with Thaddeus Young and Daniel Gafford behind them on the depth chart. Young’s name has come up in trade buzz around the league; if he were moved, it would open up a roster spot for a big man.
In a season where the Bulls will be evaluating what they have on the roster top to bottom, there are minutes to be had if Vonleh can live up to that potential. For Chicago, this is a low-risk pickup.