Chicago Bulls: Derrick Walton Jr. could be best offseason move

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /
Chicago Bulls Derrick Walton Jr.
(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images) /

The signing of point guard Derrick Walton Jr. is the least talked about move the Chicago Bulls have made this offseason.

Is Derrick Walton Jr. the latest point guard of the future for the Chicago Bulls? Not necessarily, however, the former Michigan Wolverines’ standout has a chance to make a huge impact on his new team.

The Bulls have made little to no waves with the Walton Jr. signing, whcih became official earlier in the week. What Walton Jr. can provide on the basketball court for the Bulls could generate a different result.

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Part of the reason for the lack of buzz for the latest Bulls’ acquisition is the timing. Football season is quickly approaching. Most of the attention will be focused on what the Chicago Bears are doing. Case in point, rookie linebacker Roquan Smith ended his holdout around the same time the Bulls finalized the Walton Jr. signing.

Also, the majority of the NBA signings this late into the offseason are regarded as minor moves. However, the Bulls addition of Walton Jr. cannot be considered as such. Walton Jr. was not added to push Kris Dunn for starter’s minutes. The Bulls signed him to compliment their second-unit, as well as their offense.

The oft-criticized Cameron Payne is currently pencilled in as Dunn’s backup. Payne had a solid showing in the second half of the season for the Bulls. His ability to distribute the basketball steadily improved near the end of the season. How he can grow as a player from there will factor into how much the Bulls will rely on Watson Jr.

Prior to the Watson Jr. acquisition, the Bulls did not have a consistent three-point shooter at point guard. Both Dunn and Payne are better at slashing to the basket, creating shots off the dribble. Watson Jr. on the other hand is a dead-eye shooter, with the ability to space the floor. That will become a great benefit to the second-unit.

The Bulls are loaded with offensive-minded players, yet much of the talent on offense will come from the starters. Who among the Bulls’ reserves can be trusted to take over the scoring load? As a prototypical spot-up shooter, Watson Jr. could become that player.

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If the Bulls can get the same shooter who connected on an average of 40 percent from distance on a nightly basis, they could balance the remainder of their offense. The Bulls will look to get Watson Jr. going in order to open up the lanes for their abundance of slashers. That could lead to Watson Jr. putting up somewhere between 7-9 shots a game, with a scoring average flirting near double-digits.

For a league-minimum contract, that sounds like a possible huge impact for the Bulls.