CHICAGO — The Chicago Bulls didn’t make a huge splash in free agency, instead they waited for a guy already on a NBA roster to be waived to make a move. The Detroit Pistons are in the final stages of waiving Richard Hamilton and the Bulls are standing under dropbox to catch him as soon as he falls.
Multiple sources including the Chicago Tribune and Pippen Ain’t Easy are reporting that the Bulls will sign Hamilton to a two year, $10 million deal as soon as he’s available.
Pistons president Joe Dumars wouldn’t confirm the details of the buyout but did confirm the obvious: it’s happening.
“It’s just a verbal agreement right now, so nothing’s official,” Dumars said. “Once it’s official, I can get into detail about why buyout instead of amnesty.”
The Bulls have been in serious need of a shooting threat to take pressure off of Derrick Rose and they get that guy in Hamilton. An instrumental piece of their 2004 championship season, Hamilton and the Pistons have has a rocky relationship the past two seasons with Hamilton seeing his numbers dip to near career lows and was even benched for the majority of a seven week period.
Hamilton is itching for a fresh start somewhere else and the Pistons no longer want anything to do with him. Hamilton is likely to be the fourth scoring option behind Rose, Carlos Boozer and Luol Deng.
Hamilton brings with him to Chicago something that was lacking last year: playoff experience. This Bulls team has been to the playoffs but last year was the first serious run at a championship with the current cast of players. Tom Thibodeau brought experience from his time under Doc Rivers in Boston but that only went so far. Bringing in Hamilton will boost the maturity of this team and he will instantly become a veteran leader the Bulls lacked down the stretch.
The announcement of Hamilton’s contract buyout is expected in the following days, shortly followed by the announcement of his 2-year, $10 million deal with the Bulls.