The Chicago Bulls are Linked to Jarred Vanderbilt.

The Chicago Bulls are linked to Jarred Vanderbilt. You knew that, but it’s nice to see it for yourself. Vanderbilt is the latest in a string of players who have teamed up with the Bulls in recent years, including Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Rip Hamilton. But the story is about more than just recruiting. It’s about building a relationship that has lasted for years.

Atlanta Hawks forward Jarred Vanderbilt was among the players selected in the 2018 NBA Draft, but according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the team is looking to move him after he was involved in a draft-day brawl.

Now that the NBA draft is complete, we can analyze who the top prospects are from each team. For the Bulls, this includes the No. 2 overall pick Jarred Vanderbilt from the University of Kentucky. In a draft full of high school talents, it’s fascinating to see the Bulls go with the college player, especially the top-ranked prospect in this year’s draft.


Jarred Vanderbilt/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls were unable to sign Paul Millsap, who instead opted to join the Brooklyn Nets. On the free-agent market, though, several younger and possibly high-upside alternatives are still available.

Jarred Vanderbilt, a restricted free agency from the Minnesota Timberwolves, is still just 22 years old and may provide the Bulls’ second unit with some quickness and defense at the power forward position. Vanderbilt was dubbed “the ideal free agent” by one Bulls expert.

Is Jarred Vanderbilt being slept on?

Could Vanderbilt develop into a player that contributes significant minutes off the bench for the Bulls?

Pippen’s Andrew Miller Vanderbilt seems to have that sort of potential, according to Ain’t Easy. According to Miller,

With several interesting names still available in free agency this summer, the Bulls have choices to fill the remaining roster slots after acquiring Jones in this sign-and-trade transaction. Jarred Vanderbilt, a 22-year-old power forward who formerly played for the Denver Nuggets and Minnesota Timberwolves, is a guy to keep an eye on for the Bulls in this respect. Over the course of the past three seasons, Vanderbilt has steadily improved his game. And he may be an interesting backup power forward for the Bulls next season, capable of playing in either the second or third unit. Vanderbilt didn’t have the best start to his career during the 2018-19 season, but he’s come a long way since then. His increase in box plus/minus demonstrates how far he’s come since his debut season three years ago.

Vanderbilt is 6’9″ and 214 pounds, but he has the physique to fill out further in the future years due to his age. During the 2020-21 season, Vanderbilt was named to the Timberwolves’ starting lineup 30 times. Vanderbilt averaged 5.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, and 1 steal a game after seeing little playing time in his first two seasons.

Those statistics are unlikely to wow many people, but Miller has a winning formula with Vanderbilt.

For the Bulls, Vanderbilt might be the ideal bench player.

You can see more of his potential if you look at Vanderbilt’s per-36-minute numbers (10.9 points, 11.6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 1.5 blocks). What the stat line doesn’t show is how Vanderbilt obtains his statistics, both in terms of points and rebounds. He’s a hustler in the Hakim Warrick/Cedric Ceballos mold, but one with a lot of room for improvement.

He has time and space to develop since he is just 22 years old. Vanderbilt is a tough rebounder who does a lot of excellent work on the offensive glass, as you can see in the video below.

Jarred Vanderbilt, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jarred Vanderbilt, Jarred Vander Sam analyzes restricted free agent Jarred Vanderbilt in the third video in the 2021 free agency scouting series, who is raw enough to be poachable but skilled enough to be exciting. LISTEN TO THE PODCAST ON APPLE: ON TWITTER, FOLLOW THE HOSTS: Sam’s Twitter handle is @scooperhoops. Mike’s Twitter handle is Michael Stearns created the motion graphic. RidiculousCage2021-07-26T14:30:10Z THUMBNAIL

He’s a quick shooter who may benefit from the Bulls’ transition game, which he’ll likely see more of now that Lonzo Ball is leading the break.

There may even be lob attempts and rim runs for Vanderbilt with the Bulls, with guys like DeMar DeRozan executing the pick-and-roll as the ball handler.

Last season, the Bulls got a personal look at Vanderbilt’s abilities when he scored 16 points against them.

Watch a video The bulls have been connected to an athletic pf dubbed “the ideal free agent” in a video. 2021-09-03T00:00:30-04:00


Vanderbilt has the potential to develop into the kind of sticky defender that makes life difficult for opposing teams if properly taught. If the Bulls can also acquire a smart experienced big man to assist in continuing to coach Vanderbilt, they may have a steal on their hands.

The Bulls must force the Timberwolves to make a choice on whether or not to match a Vanderbilt offer.

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