Feb 01, 2012; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Kyle Korver (26) looks to pass during the fourth quarter against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center. The Sixers defeated the Bulls 98-82. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE

Kyle Korver May Return in 2013; Novak, Rush May Be Targets

There has been much debate surrounding Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson and their non-guarnteed contracts ever since the season ended. Many speculated that all three would be gone to clear up around $10 million for the Bulls to play with in free agency and we had been getting that indication all offseason long from Bulls brass.

Korver is one of three players that have been rumored to be let go by the Bulls. But he may be the most likely of the three to return in 2013. (Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-US PRESSWIRE)

C.J. Watson is likely gone especially with the drafting of Kentucky’s Marquis Teague in Thursday’s draft. Teague does everything Watson does but he does it better and he’s got younger legs. Watson has a $3.2 million option on his contract and the Bulls are going to give Teague $1.02 million on the rookie pay scale.

So that right there takes care of one of the three.

Ronnie has a $4.3 million option and although the Bulls could use his services, he too his being ousted by a younger version of himself. Jimmy Butler makes less then Brewer and is going to do almost exactly what he does — but again better and younger. Brewer’s death nail is his contract, the Bulls could use his $4.3 million as much need breathing room.

But that takes us to Kyle Korver and although he has the fattest contract of the three players in question, it appears that he’s the most likely to return. K.C. Johnson from the Chicago Tribune stated Saturday that the Bulls are only seriously considering retaining Korver of the three aforementioned players.

If the Bulls don’t pick up Korver’s final year on his deal, they’d have to buy him out for $500,000. The Bulls also said that they’d give Korver “ample time” to find a new team which means they’ll be notifying him pretty quickly here whether they plan on bringing him back.

Steve Novak made just $800k last season but he showed that he' much more valuable on the perimeter than that. The Bulls may view him as a cheaper replacement to Korver's $5 million deal. (Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-US PRESSWIRE)

Should the Bulls let Korver walk, they’d add to their list of needs this offseason. In addition to needing a combo guard to start for Derrick Rose while he sits and recovers, they’d then also need a perimeter shooter to come off the bench. The question the Bulls are asking themselves is can they get someone of Korver’s talent for less then the $5 million they’d have to pay Korver.

Guys that could fit this role include Brandon Rush — whom the Bulls have expressed an interest in– and Steve Novak. Rush is a restricted free agent with the Warriors and has a $4 million qualifying offer on him. Novak is an unrestricted free agent and made just $800,000 last year. But with his skill set and his extremely valuable outside presence, he;s going to see that salary ballon to a starting rate of somewhere in the $2-3 million range if not higher.

Free agency opened tonight and teams can’t officially sign a player until July 11.

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