Entering the third day of free agency the Bulls still have some positions to fill on the team. One of the positions of need came at the backup center position. After losing center Daniel Theis earlier in the week they were left without a backup. The Bulls front office decided to take care of that today by signing a big man to a minimum contract.
minimum deal for Bradley.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 4, 2021
The Bulls have signed Oklahoma City big man Tony Bradley to a two-year deal that has a player option for the second year. Good news here is that the Bulls were able to pull off this signing by using the minimum salary. The Bulls are working to fill out the remainder of the roster but aren’t in a position to spend a lot. This signing is a boost to the bench defensively and doesn’t break the bank for Chicago. For anyone who’s unfamiliar with Tony Bradley let me give you some background.
Bradley made his impression on the Bulls when they last met
Bradley came off the bench for both the Philadelphia 76ers and the Oklahoma City Thunder last year. The last time he faced off against the Bulls was March 11th when he was with the 76ers. In that game, Bradley was starting as Joel Embiid was out. Bradley made sure to make use of his minutes and ended the night shooting 100% from the field with 14 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Front court help is on the way to Chicago…
In one of the Bulls’ worst losses last season, a 22-point home defeat against a Philadelphia squad playing without Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, Tony Bradley scored 14 points on 7-of-7 shooting with five rebounds and three blocks. https://t.co/ni1vFEgF65
— Darnell Mayberry (@DarnellMayberry) August 4, 2021
It was certainly a memorable game for the 5th year pro and it made enough of a mark on the Bulls front office to remember him. Surely this isn’t the only reason but to see a backup center take advantage on your home floor that will likely factor into it. While he had a great game against the Bulls the last time they met let’s take a look at last season as a whole.
Tony Bradley’s stats
Like I said earlier Bradley played for two teams last season. He played a total of 20 games with the 76ers and 22 with the Thunder. Coming over to the Thunder Bradley averaged 18 minutes per game and in that time he averaged 8.7 PPG, 65.6 %FG, 6.1 RPG, & 0.8 BPG. Those stats right there are what make him a serviceable backup center. To be able to provide 8-10 points per game off the bench while holding his own defensively is valuable. Grabbing him with a minimum contract is icing on the cake.
If you look at his career numbers he averages 5.4 PPG, 64.9 %FG, & 4.8 RPG. However, you need to factor in that he only played 12 games total over his first two seasons. Bradley isn’t a huge signing like the others we have heard. But it is an important one. The Bulls needed depth at the center position and Bradley provides that.
The Bulls aren’t done yet
While I’m sure this isn’t a signing that will get the common fan excited this is still something that is key to the team’s success. Having depth that can play defense is so important. The second unit needs to hold things together. Signing quality bench players at a low cost is hard to come by. The Bulls appear to have found one in Bradley and they aren’t done yet. There are still a few holes left on the roster and the Bulls front office knows that.
Bradley for the minimum is a quality deal. Well done, Bulls. Now go get Millsap and Danny Green.
— Kris (@klahoops) August 4, 2021
This front office is a savvy group. They know how to work their way around the financials and convince players to come to the Bulls. Getting veterans like Danny Green and Paul Millsap may be on the table. That’s unknown at this point. However, the Bulls certainly aren’t done. Forward Lauri Markkanen is still on the roster. The Bulls likely won’t have a spot for him anymore. Whether they can sign and trade him is up in the air. He will either leave for nothing or the Bulls will string something together to move him and get something. That is still to be determined. One thing is for sure this front office is constructing a team they believe can win and compete now.