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Let the bidding begin, as the Bulls make David Nwaba a restricted free agent

With the NBA Draft now in the rearview mirror, the Bulls took care of one of their own Thursday.

According to a source, they extended a qualifying offer to reserve wing David Nwaba as expected, making him a restricted free agent. The intent since the end of the season was to make this happen for Nwaba, with the Bulls looking to lock up their versatile defender — within reason. There’s always a chance another team will offer money the Bulls would be reluctant to match, and teams already have expressed interest through back channels. But a big offer isn’t expected for Nwaba, who averaged 7.9 points and 4.7 rebounds in 23.5 minutes per game last season.

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The Bulls aren’t expected to extend an offer to Noah Vonleh, allowing the reserve big man to become an unrestricted free agent.

Free agency starts at 11:01 p.m. Saturday. Most of general manager Gar Forman’s attention will be on restricted free-agent guard Zach LaVine and the handful of offers he’s expected to receive. The Bulls will have 72 hours to match any offer for him or Nwaba.