The National Basketball Association is hitting the beginning of the 2017-18 calendar year on July 1, with free agency set to take off. It is at this point in the offseason program where NBA teams evaluate their outlook going into the next season, with the Chicago Bulls being that prime example.
The Bulls ultimately dealt Butler to his former coach and the Minnesota Timberwolves, officially signaling their rebuild with the assets they acquired. Well the Bulls have officially began step two of their rebuilding process, releasing veteran point guard Rajon Rondo, via ESPN’s Marc Stein:
The Bulls just announced the release of Rajon Rondo …
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2017
The Bulls were reportedly shopping Rondo around the NBA, attempting to get a return before facing the inevitable decision of releasing him. However, it seems as though they weren’t able to reach a conclusion with another team and have decided to release him outright.
Rondo signed a two-year, $27 million deal with the Bulls last offseason, after a tremendous one-year stay with the Sacramento Kings. Rondo was owed roughly $13.3 million for the 2017-18 season, after a strong 2016-17 campaign with the Bulls.
The four-time All-Star was a main reason as to the Bulls resurgence during the first two games of the 2017 NBA Playoffs, as they were able to capture a 2-0 lead on the road against the Boston Celtics. However, Rondo failed to suit up for the remainder of the series, as the Bulls lost the next four contests.
The four-time NBA All-Defensive Team selection averaged 7.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 6.7 assists, changed throughout much of the season, after being benched multiple times and while splitting minutes with Michael Carter-Williams.
The question for the Bulls now is whether or not they will hang on to veteran guard Dwyane Wade. With an obvious rebuild taking place, holding on to Wade wouldn’t seem to make much sense and Wade would undoubtedly prefer to be on a winning team.