The youth movement for the Chicago Bulls is a real thing.
If you didn’t get that message from the trade of superstar Jimmy Butler to the Minnesota Timberwolves on NBA Draft night last week, maybe this bit of news will convince you.
Front office mates Gar Forman and John Paxson hope to get the Bulls a lot younger next season. So much younger that the player who won Rookie of the Year three seasons ago doesn’t even qualify.
That’s the latest news involving point guard Michael Carter-Williams, who won’t be extended a qualifying offer by the Bulls this offseason, allowing the 2013-14 Rookie of the Year to become a free agent with no compensation (besides cap space) heading Chicago’s way for the asset.
That’s according to Paxson on Tuesday, who told ESPN Radio 1000 that the club plans to not offer Carter-Williams a qualifying offer despite the relatively paltry price tag of $4.1 million to keep the point guard in Chicago.
Carter-Williams, who won Rookie of the Year for the Philadelphia 76ers but was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks midway through his second season, came to Chicago in a trade before the season from the Bucks for Tony Snell.
The 25-year-old Carter-Williams was in and out of Bulls coach Fred Hoiber’s rotation. He played 45 games, scoring 6.6 points and dishing out 2.5 assists in Chicago. Those numbers were well below his career averages of 13.0 and 5.4.
Along with newly acquired second-year point guard Kris Dunn from Minnesota, Chicago already has a glut of point guards heading into next season without Butler. Jerian Grant, Isaiah Canaan and Cameron Payne are all under contract for next season and Chicago still has a decision to make on veteran Rajon Rondo.
Like Carter-Williams, Payne was acquired in a trade last season, coming over from the Oklahoma City Thunder in a move that cost Chicago Doug McDermott and Taj Gibson.
In Rondo, Paxson and Forman have to balance the future look for the franchise along with the former Boston Celtics star’s electric performance in two playoff wins against his former team in the first round before a season-ending wrist injury stopped his short-lived remembrance of his past.
Veteran Dwyane Wade recently announced he’ll exercise his option to earn
The Bulls have until Friday to make a decision on Rondo: Either pay the veteran the $13.4 million he due for next season or decline his option. In the meantime, you can bet Paxson and Forman are working the phones trying to move the asset before losing him for nothing.