CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls are closing in on who they hope can fill their gap at shooting guard. The only problem is he’s not quite a free agent yet.
Multiple sources are reporting that the Detroit Pistons are planning on waiving Richard Hamilton and the Bulls are loving every minute of that. Derrick Rose says he doesn’t mind if the Bulls stand pat in free agency but he’s no opposed to the idea of adding a player like Hamilton to the lineup.
“Rip is a winner,” Rose said. “Can’t say anything bad about him. He won a championship. He’s great. … If he comes along, I know that we’ll be lucky to have him.”
Chicago has been on the mend at the shooting guard position, at least offensively speaking. Keith Bogans provided alright defense last season but his offense was nothing to be proud of. It was one of the reasons the Bulls pulled him from practice Friday and the driving force behind why Chicago needs a new compliment to Rose.
The real reason Keith Bogans was pulled from practice Friday was because he’s technically not supposed to be there. He has a $1.73 million team option on his contract and it exceeds the league minimum. For that reason the Bulls pulled him and will have to opt-out.
Bogans can still return to the Bulls just not under his current deal. Chicago has been thinking of upgrading at his position and it remains a priority this offseason. With the Miami Heat beefing up their defense in adding Shane Battier, the need for the Bulls to add a scoring threat opposite Rose even more drastic.
The Heat dismantled the Bulls down the stretch in last season’s Eastern Conference Finals with their defense then.
Hamilton was one of the driving forces behind the Pistons championship in 2004 and has slowly began to decline from the player he was. But he’s still got gas in the tank just not enough for Detroit.
Ironically enough, Hamilton’s buyout by the Pistons is to make more playing time for Ben Gordon, a former Bull. ‘
A three-time All-Star, Hamilton would be an instant upgrade at shooting guard and he’ll come at a bargain. Hamilton is coming off one of his worsts seasons where he shot 14.1 points per game and was even benched for a seven for the majority of a seven week stretch.
He’s 33 years old, putting him in the same age bracket as other potential Bulls targets Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson.
The Bulls, as was predicted here earlier this month, aren’t going to sign a flashy name. They don’t have the money for that but history has shown they probably wouldn’t even if they could. The Bulls entered last season’s free agent market with deep pockets and with a field that included LeBron James, Dewayne Wade and Amare Stoudimire, they walked away happy with Carlos Boozer — a once flashy name.
Boozer is the type of player that has some name recognition but more people know him for his play. That’s the guy the Bulls wants and that’s the guy Richard “Rip” Hamilton is.
Plus at 6′-7″ he’s the perfect kind of body for Tom Thibodieau’s big body defense. The perk is, he’s a winner, he’s a veteran, and he’s experienced in the playoffs and championship scenarios.
Oh and he can score too. At the bargain barrel price he’ll be at, how can you not bring the man in the mask to Chicago?