The NBA draft isn't the end of business for the Bulls.
The team expects to be busy in the free-agent market, which opens Sunday, when teams can begin to contact players not under contract. The Bulls will have the $5.4 million average player exception and the $1.8 million biannual exception to spend on upgrades.
"We're in very good position to spend money in free agency, if that's what it takes," general manager John Paxson said. "We'll take a look at the free-agent list and make some calls there."
While the free-agent pool is shallow in marquee names, it has enough in terms of players with size and experience to interest a team that has lacked as much in recent years.
Among unrestricted free agents, 6-foot-6 Matt Carroll (Charlotte) and 6-8 Jason Kapono (Miami) are accomplished shot-makers who can play either off guard or small forward. And 6-11 center Jamaal Magloire (Portland), 7-foot forward-center Mikki Moore (New Jersey) and 6-10 forward Joe Smith (Philadelphia) have size and experience on the front line.
The list of restricted free agents who could be of interest includes 6-9 forward Walter Hermann (Charlotte), 6-6 swingman Mikael Pietrus (Golden State) and 6-10 center Fabricio Oberto (San Antonio).
Hermann is a dependable outside shooter, Pietrus is known for his defensive ability and Oberto offers muscle and a championship pedigree.
The Bulls considered Pietrus in the 2003 draft and Oberto as a free agent two years later.
"There will be sign-and-trade opportunities for players and teams," Paxson said. "There are a lot of things that all of us will sit back and look at and try to sift through."
Nocioni on Hold
Restricted free-agent forward Andres Nocioni is a candidate for sign-and-trade move, although his value has never been lower because of a strained right foot that has been slow to heal.
"We'll address (his status) on July 1, when we're able to," Paxson said.
Nocioni sat out 28 of the Bulls' final 34 regular-season games and was largely ineffective in the playoffs.
"Rest is about the only thing he can do right now," Paxson said. "From what I understand, he's doing fine."
Former Illinois star forward Roger Powell Jr. said he's been in contact with several NBA teams and expects to attend a preseason camp in the fall.
Last season Powell played three games with Utah before he was released. He signed with the Arkansas RimRockers of the National Basketball Association Development League, where he improved his stock with a league-high average of 22.3 points per game.
"When the Jazz released me, it was the best thing that could have happened," said Powell, who works out in Orland Park on a regular basis. "Rather than sit on the bench, I was able to play a lot and improve my game. It helped to have some NBA experience."
Powell declined to reveal which teams had expressed interest, except to say the Bulls aren't among them.
Four of the first seven draft selections took part in the most recent NCAA championship game, not that Paxson was surprised about it.
In his first five drafts as GM, Paxson selected or traded for Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Joakim Noah, all of whom starred with a Final Four team.
"There's a lot to be said for winning," Paxson said. "You have to accept a role and you have to play to that role. Ultimately, those kids know what winning is all about."
More Bulls coverage is at www.dailysouthtown.com/sports.