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The Chicago Bulls’ 2021-22 roster will feature a ton of new faces — from free-agent acquisitions to fliers on young players. Meet the new guys.

Chicago Tribune logo Chicago Tribune 9/28/2021 Jamal Collier, Chicago Tribune
Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021. © Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Bulls guard Ayo Dosunmu poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021.

The Chicago Bulls have undergone an almost complete overhaul in the past 18 months. The roster that finished 22-43 during the 2019-20 season is nearly all gone — with only Zach LaVine and Coby White remaining.

The new-look Bulls will feature a ton of new faces this season, including prized free-agent acquisitions DeMar DeRozan and Lonzo Ball, young players with untapped potential in Derrick Jones Jr. and Alize Johnson and a pair of rookie second-round picks in Ayo Dosunmu and Marko Simonović.

Bulls center Marko Simonovic poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021. © Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Bulls center Marko Simonovic poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021.

The Bulls pulled off four sign-and-trades in August, acquiring DeRozan, Ball, Jones, a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick (via the Portland Trail Blazers), a 2023 second-round pick (via the Denver Nuggets) and a $5 million trade exception in exchange for Tomáš Satoranský, Garrett Temple, Thad Young, Lauri Markkanen, Daniel Theis, a 2025 first-round pick and a pair of second-rounders in 2022 and ‘25.

Bulls center Tony Bradley poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021. © Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Bulls center Tony Bradley poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021.

With training camp beginning this week, the Bulls roster stands at 18 players, plus two-way guard Devon Dotson. They will have to cut the roster to a maximum of 15 (with two two-way spots) by the start of the season.

Let’s get to know the new faces on the Bulls roster.

DeMar DeRozan

How they acquired him

Signed a three-year, $85 million contract in free agency, completed via a sign-and-trade with the San Antonio Spurs.

What he did in 2020-21

21.6 points, 6.9 assists per game, 49.5% shooting.

What role he might play in 2021-22

DeRozan gives the Bulls a third player who averaged more than 20 points last season, and his presence should take some of the pressure and on-ball duties off LaVine. DeRozan can create his own shot and excelled distributing for others as a point forward for the Spurs last season. He’s a midrange artist who is uninterested in shooting 3s (or playing much defense), but he should complement LaVine well.

Bulls guard Alex Caruso poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021. © Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Bulls guard Alex Caruso poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021.

Lonzo Ball

How they acquired him

Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021. © Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Bulls forward DeMar DeRozan poses for photos at media day at the United Center on Sept. 27, 2021.

Signed a four-year, $85 million contract in free agency, completed via a sign-and-trade with the New Orleans Pelicans.

What he did in 2020-21

14.6 points, 5.7 assists per game, 37.8% from 3.

Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball smiles at media day on Sept. 27, 2021. © Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune Chicago Bulls guard Lonzo Ball smiles at media day on Sept. 27, 2021.

What role he might play in 2021-22

Ball’s passing skills and ability to get out in transition make him a good bet to play connector and facilitator while surrounded by so many weapons on offense. He has made strides with his 3-point shooting since entering the league and should get plenty of catch-and-shoot opportunities. His defense will be a bonus next to other limited players in the starting lineup.

Alex Caruso

How they acquired him

Signed a four-year, $37 million contract in free agency.

What he did in 2020-21

6.4 points, 2.8 assists per game, 40% from 3 (2.4 attempts per game) for the Los Angeles Lakers.

What role he might play in 2021-22

Caruso is in position to be the first player off the Bulls bench, which also serves as a slight indictment of the team’s depth. Still, he has been an elite defender at the point of attack and boasts an impressive 3-point percentage. He should slot in next to LaVine and DeRozan on the perimeter often to take some pressure off defensively.

Derrick Jones Jr.

How they acquired him

From the Trail Blazers in a three-team trade that sent Lauri Markkanen to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

What he did in 2020-21

6.8 points, 3.5 rebounds per game, 48% shooting.

What role he might play in 2021-22

Jones, a former slam dunk champion, is probably best known for his high-flying dunks. After getting a chance to start with the Trail Blazers last season, he should settle into a reserve role behind LaVine and DeRozan. He’s a solid defender whose length and speed help him excel in transition. The Bulls hope the 24-year-old has some upside left.

Tony Bradley

How they acquired him

Signed a one-year minimum contract in free agency.

What he did in 2020-21

7.1 points, 5.7 rebounds, 0.7 blocks per game for the Philadelphia 76ers and Oklahoma City Thunder.

What role he might play in 2021-22

Bradley gives the Bulls a backup center with a defensive mindset. The former late first-round pick in 2017 had his best season yet in that role, but it will be interesting to see how the Bulls — who are short on big men — utilize him in lineup combos. Will he play next to Nikola Vučević in the frontcourt to serve as the rim protector, or will the Bulls prefer to remain small and use Bradley mostly to spell Vučević?

Marko Simonović

How they acquired him

Drafted in the second round in 2020.

What he did in 2020-21

15.1 points, 9.1 rebounds per game, 48.4% shooting for KK Mega Basket in Serbia.

What role he might play in 2021-22

Simonović might be the Bulls’ most intriguing unknown heading into the season. With a shortage of big men on the roster, he should get an opportunity to play and see if his talent can translate to the NBA. From a brief glimpse at Summer League, he should be able to run in transition and stretch the floor, but he has to get more aggressive around the rim on both ends of the court.

Ayo Dosunmu

How they acquired him

Drafted in the second round in 2021.

What he did in 2020-21

20.1 points, 5.3 assists per game, 39% from 3 at Illinois.

What role he might play in 2021-22

The path to playing time looked a lot cleaner for Dosunmu after he got drafted and before the Bulls beefed up their backcourt in free agency. However, with the start of White’s season in jeopardy due to offseason shoulder surgery, there could be an opening for Dosunmu to get some playing time at the end of the rotation. It will be worth watching to see if the Bulls play him on or off the ball.

Alize Johnson

How they acquired him

Signed a two-year, $3.6 million contract in free agency.

What he did in 2020-21

5.2 points, 5.0 rebounds per game for the Brooklyn Nets.

What role he might play in 2021-22

Johnson’s deal is technically not guaranteed yet, but it comes with a $250,000 guarantee trigger if he is not waived by Oct. 19, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks. He enters camp as the favorite to make the roster among players on non-guaranteed deals because of his rebounding ability and energy off the bench. He posted a 20-point, 21-rebound game with two blocks against the Indiana Pacers near the end of last season to lead the Nets to a victory without any of their big three players.

The contracts of Tyler Cook, Stanley Johnson, Matt Thomas and Ethan Thompson are non-guaranteed, so they were not included.

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