Despite the fact that they have roughly $64.3 million tied up in eight players on the roster, the Bulls are still looking to be buyers in the free agency market. Already they have been asking around about players and two of them happen to be Delonte West and Kirk Hinrich.
Last season Delonte West made the league minimum with the Dallas Mavericks and many expect him to make roughly the same this year. That’s a number that the Bulls are willing to take a hard look at as it won’t push them hard towards the luxury tax. But as close as they are to the tax, any dollar amount added to the payroll seems like a push.
But West can play both point guard and the wing which is attractive to Chicago. They drafted Marquis Teague with the 29th overall pick in Thursday’s draft and by doing so passed on taking a shooter, something they desperately need.
West isn’t going to light it up for the Bulls and fix their scoring situation, but if he’s incorporated into the offense he will be productive in his own right. He’ll be coming off the bench behind Rip Hamilton but with Hamilton’s injury woes from last season still serving as a fresh wound, having West there as insurance in addition to all else is appealing to the Bulls.
There’s also the matter of West being certifiably insane. He’s a borderline loose cannon and may not jive right away with the Bulls hard nosed and straight lined way of discipline. West picked a fight with Von Wafer during a practice with the Celtics, he allegedly had sex with LeBron James mother, and he was banned from the Maverick’s White House visit because the Secret Service viewed him as a threat after a background check.
So the question with him is, are the potential headaches worth it and can Tom Thibodeau straighten him out?
Bulls Pursue Captain Kirk
Another target the Bulls have been sniffing around about is former Bulls Kirk Hinrich. With Kirk it seems Bulls fans are beaming over him through rose tinted glasses. His time in Chicago is now being romanticized like you wouldn’t believe and the Bulls are seriously considering brining him back to Chicago.
One of the reasons for his exit was the arrival of Derrick Rose and the Bulls lack of interest in him.
But now that they have no Rose and they have no scoring wingman, Kirk is all of a sudden an attractive solution. Either that says a lot about Hinrich or it says even more about how desperate the Bulls are right now.
Hinrich was an awful shooter for the Hawks last year however averaging around 6.6 ppg last year which makes Delonte West’s average of 9.6 ppg look impressive. Kirk is a combo guard though and can fill in for Rose while he’s gone which is why he’s being considered. The next question is his price. West does the same thing Hinrich does but he’ll come at a league minimum. Hinrich still might command a higher salary and like stated before the Bulls are in a crunch.
But it’s beginning to look like no matter which way you slice it, the Bulls will be over the cap and into the tax when all is said and done. They have eight players tied up in that $64.3 million bundle of cash and that’s before they add depth to the bench.
Teams can seduce players starting today but they can’t actually bed them until July 11.