CHICAGO — Let me take another moment to gloat about the NBA finally being back. We all benefit form the world of basketball shifting from the legal courts back onto the actual courts of the NBA. But the honeymoon of having the season back is short lived for many teams that now have about three weeks to do what they usually have an entire summer to do.
And that is fill the holes in the lineups an fine tune them for opening night. The Bulls have one glaring hole int the starting five and that’s at the shooting guard position. As many of you may now, despite Keith Bogans being one of my all-time favorite Bulls, he’s not the answer moving forward at guard.
That’s not to say I hate Bogans on the team, he’s actually sort of a defensive asset as much as it pains me to admit he has redeeming qualities. But he’s better suited for the Bench Mob then he is the starting lineup and if he doesn’t fit there then not having him on the roster won’t be the difference between winning a championship and not.
That being said, the Bulls are a team that is one or two players away form being flawlessly elite. They’re an elite team now, but the Heat, Mavericks and the Thunder are arguably better teams all the way through.
Especially if the Heat find a way (as I believe they should) to add Nene to the roster at Center, the Bulls will have a tall order in terms of repeating last year’s success.
Filling the hole at shooting guard is a massive step in that direction.
The Bulls need a combo guard there, a guy who can drain buckets from both theperimeter and in front of the arch, but not at the expense of defense. Tom Thibodeau has a really good thing going in Chicago with his defensive schemes and it would be a shame if h sacrafices that for scoring.
But the scoring shouldn’t be sacrificed for defense either and that’s the trick.
I’m a big fan of having Jamal Crawford returning to Chicago, more mature and with more structure in the organization. He’s one of the most potent scorers in the league and is a big body for schemes. Plus he’s unrestricted which means he’s fair game and Atlanta likely doesn’t have the monetary means to bring him back, not that Chicago does either. But if I’m Crawford and my options are Atlanta, Phoenix and Chicago and I want a ring, the choice isn’t that hard.
Another guy that could fit in Chicago is Aaron Affalo, who is a two guard designed for Thibodeau’s defense and can provide the scoring they lacked there. Affalo is another unrestricted free agent out of Denver and isn’t likely going to be kept there. He’s got options and at 25 he brings the same height and slightly higher scoring then Crawford without the age.
Marcus Thornton is a pipe dream but if he some how gets away from Sacramento, which being a restricted free agent he probably won’t, Thronton will draw high intrest all over due to his age and his potential.
We will be breaking down free agent options for the BUlls at shooting guard as the week progresses. Free agency open the same day as camps do on December 9th.