Free agency is in full swing the Bulls have already been dealt a big blow in losing Omer Asik. But he’s not the only contract that Chicago has to make a decision on. Kyle Korver’s $5 million final year option is still up in the air and the Bulls have until July 10 to figure it out.
Worth noting is that the Bulls have come out and said they will inform Korver very early on in free agency on whether they will pick up his $5 million option or if they will buy him out for $500,000. Korver has not heard from the Bulls yet regarding his contract.
The more time the Bulls wait to make a call, the more likely it is Korver is staying.
If Korver is let go the Bulls will add to their growing list of needs. Already they need a combo guard who can play for Derrick Rose this upcoming season and backup Rip Hamilton who’s first year with the Bulls was marred by injury. Letting go of Korver means another parameter shooter will be needed.
The question the Bulls are mulling is can they get one around Korver’s talent level for less then what they’re paying for right now?
Steve Novak is a name that deserves to be kicked around. He’s not been connected to the Bulls yet but he made $800,000 last year and experts estimate that total will balloon to $3-4 million for this year. A name that has been linked to the Bulls is Brandon Rush from Golden State. The Warriors offered Rush a contract around $4 million which makes him a restricted free agent. The Bulls can offer Rush a deal but the Warriors can match it.
Also, offering Rush a deal means Chicago would be flirting with the total they are set to give Korver this season.
With Korver is might be a case of timing that saves him just like it was a case of timing that caused Asik to bolt to Houston. The Rockets had been waiting to get Asik and they caught Chicago in a perfect storm of confusion caused by their lack of slack when it comes to the lucy tax.
Korver may be saved because at the moment, the Bulls simply don’t have the money to allot to finding a suitable replacement. Korver is also coming off a foot injury which may play the whole timing thing against him. He claims the foot is coming along fine however despite the fact it was so severe he had to sit out Game 6 of the Bulls first round series against the Sixers in this year’s playoffs.
‘‘My foot is getting there,’’ he said. ‘‘That was a tough one. It definitely made some things harder to do.’’
No matter how much he loves playing beside Derrick Rose, he understands that money is tight in Chicago and that can put a lot of stress on a relationship.
‘‘I understand I’m never going to be a superstar,” Korver said. “But I like to think superstars need guys like me and I need superstars. ‘I want to play on good teams. At the same time, there is the business side.’’
Chicago has until July 10 to make a decision on Korver but one is expected to be made some time before that. The longer the Bulls wait, the more likely it is that Kyle Korver will again be coming off the bench for the Bulls in 2013.