Chicago Bulls Free Agent News: Forward To "For Sure" Pick Up Option, Stay In Chicago

While still having over two months to decide on his player option for the 2023-24 season, the situation in the Windy City was obviously good enough for seventh-year forward Derrick Jones Jr. to already guaranteed that he'll be picking up his player option, and foregoing free agency.

Jones, who has an option of $3.3M for next season, told Bulls Insider KC Johnson of NBC Sports "for sure" when asked if he'll be back with the team next season. 

Like I told Coach (Billy Donovan) and everybody else, I’m locked in for two years. I didn’t sign for two years for no reason. So I’m here for two years. I just gotta sit down with my agent and talk to him, figure things out. But I don’t see why not. I got no other plans, yet.

Ok, so the "yet" might just leave open the very slight possibility that something could change before June 30th, the drop-dead date by which the option must be picked up. 

Jones has seen his role decrease in the past couple of years with the Bulls, down to just 14 minutes per game, while averaging 5.0 points and 2.4 boards in 64 games. Those numbers, in particular the minutes played, are down a fair bit from his previous years with the Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat. But nevertheless, the 26-year-old forward certainly seems happy to stay in Chi-Town.

“I just love being with these guys. I know my role isn’t always what I want it to be. I’ve been through a few injuries that might’ve set me back a little bit. I feel like a healthy DJ for all 82 is very special,” he told Johnson. “But I feel like I’ve played well when given minutes. I’ve done everything I can do with the role that I was given. Sometimes, I need to be a little more aggressive offensively. But defensively, I just do what I do."

It's going to be an interesting offseason for the Bulls, though executive vice president of basketball operations Artūras Karnišovas has already made clear what his general plans are for the team

Photo: David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports