Billy Donovan Reveals Team’s Plans for Pending Free Agent

Billy Donovan Reveals Team’s Plans for Pending Free Agent


Zach LaVine drives past Daniel Theis in a January 25 game against the Boston Celtics.

After acquiring two-time All-Star Nikola Vucevic at the trade deadline, the Chicago Bulls set themselves up for a high-pressure, high-expectation offseason.

But just 11 games into their partnership with Daniel Theis, they’ve apparently seen enough of the 29-year old veteran, and have made a decision regarding his future with the team.

Despite going just 4-9 since the trade deadline, the team is seemingly committed to the team’s new core. Nikola Vucevic and Troy Brown Jr. have also impressed in a short span.

Chicago is just 3-8 in games Theis has played so far. He’s averaging 9.5 points and 4.6 rebounds with the Bulls.

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Billy Donovan, Executive?

When speaking to the media (via NBC Sports) prior to Saturday night’s win over the Cleveland Cavaliers, head coach Billy Donovan had high praise for newly acquired Daniel Theis.

In fact, he even let it slip that the front office hopes to sign him to a new deal come the offsesason:

We didn’t get into maybe that depth of conversation (before trading for him), but I would say in our conversations, there’s no question that myself and Artūras and (general manager) Marc (Eversley) really like him (Theis) as a player. So I would think that our hope would be a long-term possibility.

Theis was offloaded by the Boston Celtics at the trade deadline because of his pending free agency. With his Bird Rights, the Bulls can pay him more than any of the league’s other 29 teams.

However, Donovan acknowledged it is a business. Who’s to say Theis wants to remain in Chicago?

With free agency coming up and guys having the opportunity to make their own decisions, I understand that. But he’s someone we really like a lot and feel like could be somebody that could be really good for us going forward.

The Bulls appreciate Theis’s efforts on the defensive end. It earned him the starting nod in their last two games.

But he’s posted just seven and eight points respectively, whereas on the bench he’s had bigger games including a 14-point, 10-rebound double-double in Chicago’s win over Toronto.

With just 16 games to go, both Theis and the Bulls play could determine their mutual futures.

Updated Bulls Playoff Odds

After their victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night, the Chicago Bulls are 23-33.

That’s good for the Eastern Conference’s 10th-seed, with a number of teams (Toronto, Washington) hot on their heels for the final play-in spot.

Likely taking Zach LaVine’s undefined absence into account, Five Thirty Eight has the Bulls’ playoff chances at a four percent likelihood. That’s good for the worst odds among teams with a greater than one percent chance.

The website’s forecast heavily favors Toronto to make the postseason, with an 16 percent chance. Washington has just seven percent odds.

And has Chicago’s remaining schedule as the seventh-toughest in the entire NBA.

The odds are against the Chicago Bulls, now without their top player for an extended time, even after snapping their losing streak.

16 games to go.

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