The Chicago Bulls declined scrappy guard Ryan Arcidiacono’s $3 million option Sunday, a move that may have been made even if they weren’t prominently involved in the Lonzo Ball sweepstakes.
Similarly, even if the contracts of Tomáš Satoranský and Thad Young become fully guaranteed by Monday’s deadline, that doesn’t mean either or both dependable rotation players are sticking for the long haul.
In fact, league sources said Young has been available for a while leading up to the opening of Monday’s official negotiating period for free agents, which — ahem — begins at 5 p.m. CT Monday. And Satoranský could be included if the Pelicans cooperate on a signed-and-traded Ball.
One league source said Young has been dangled as much for productive players as he has been for salary cap space, which would suggest the Bulls are covering all their bases, especially because both the Celtics and possibly the Mavericks continued to be rumored to be in the Ball sweepstakes. Clearing cap space to sign Ball to an offer sheet that the Pelicans matched would be the Bulls’ worst-case scenario.
Either that, or the Bulls are confident they can execute the Satoranský-for-Ball sign-and-trade scenario.
Either way, there is substantial belief that the Bulls remain most focused on acquiring Ball. As has been covered ad nauseum, all paths to do so involve roster casualties beyond Arcidiacono.
It’s no secret the Bulls tried to pry Ball from the New Orleans at March’s trade deadline. The Pelicans asked…