If you think back to the post-dynasty era, the Bulls had a lot of different scrubs come in, some of them played well over small stretches, especially while we were losing, giving us quite a bit of excitement and hope that they could become players. Heck, Jannero Pargo was one such player.
Enter Acie Law. He was cast off by other teams, and he didn’t have his fourth year option picked up and as such, he becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Law didn’t play much for GS this year, but in his 66 minutes he actually had a 21.5 PER which suggests he was quite effective in them. When traded to Charlotte, he played even less, and in his 33 minutes put up a mere 7.7 PER. For the Bulls Law has put up an 18.8 PER in 92 minutes.
Now PER isn’t everything of course, but it’s a decent overall metric to see if a guy passes the sniff test statistically. For the Bulls, he certainly does. Now this wasn’t always the case, in larger sample sizes in his first two seasons he didn’t fare as well. In his rookie season, Law put up a mere 7.7 PER in 852 minutes, in his second season he improved to a 10.6 in 545 minutes. The PER trend was up, but his playing time was down.
His sample size in his third season is so small that it’s dicey to put too much credence in it, but at the same time, he’s played well enough that it shouldn’t be completely ignored either. Especially given that he’ll likely be available for cheap next season, possibly at the vet minimum.
Watching Law on the court, I’ve found he’s done an excellent job of slashing through the defense and attacking the basket. His primary strength has been in his ability to break down the defense and generate layups for himself. Unfortunately, his ability to break down the defense hasn’t translated to him creating shots for others.
Law’s offensive game seems fundamentally selfish. If he’s not creating shots for himself, he’s really not doing a whole lot. Granted, he probably has some head room to improve in this area, and he hasn’t exactly played with offensive dynamos that would encourage him to give up the ball. However, as a back up point guard, he’s not really providing much in terms of running the offense.
More or less, he reminds me of Monta Ellis. Someone who’s fast, small, attacks the basket, can’t shoot, and has dicey PG skills. His greatest strength is in creating efficient offense, but largely he’s creating it for himself. Obviously, Monta Ellis on the vet minimum would be the steal of all steals as a FA signing, so the real question Bulls fans have to ask is can Law keep up what he’s doing over a longer stretch of time?
Law has done enough to convince me to bring him back at the veteran minimum next season. I think there’s a high percentage chance that he becomes a sub 10 PER player over the course of a full season next year, but it’s certainly an acceptable risk for a guy getting to the basket like he is right now. He has legitimate upside as he hasn’t had a lot of opportunities and is still young enough to grow with the team.
The real question is whether or not Law can do enough to convince another team to pay him more.