It seems to be the norm in Chicago thus far this offseason. While other teams (with money mind you) are adding pieces and gearing up for serious championship runs, the Chicago Bulls continue to merely add players their list of targets.
Add two more names to that list according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: Michael Redd and Jerryd Bayless.
Redd of course is most famous for being the only salvageable piece of the 2000 NBA Draft class and getting paid ridiculous amounts of money — his name (and contracts) has been highly cited as one of the key reasons the NBA had a labor dispute last year.
But he’s not going to be getting those insane deals anymore and the Bulls are so desperately clawing the bottom of the bargain bin to try and find something cheaper, that they are seriously considering giving him a contract to fill out the roster.
His teammate from Toronto however, Jerryd Bayless, isn’t that bad of an option for the Bulls. Both had their offers from the Raptors pulled and both are now unrestricted free agents, free to sign where they please.
Bayless is interesting because he’s a combo guard and would be able to step in for Derrick Rose while he’s out as well as provide depth behind Rip Hamilton on the wing. Bayless is also just 23 years old and a former lottery pick in the draft. But his age and potential may raise his price, like we’ve heard so many times this offseason, yet again out of the Bulls price range.
He’s got injury issues that could dictate his price. Last season Bayless was poised for a serious breakout year, but was riddled with injuries that shut him down early. It all comes down to how much teams want to pay for the potential of Jerryd Bayless based oof of what they’ve seen thus far.
He averaged 11.4 ppg last season in the 31 games he played in which is encouraging as the Bulls need shooters. Also with the injuries, Bayless may come cheap but due to his age he may not want to sign a long term deal at a low price incase he does have that breakout year in one of the biggest NBA markets in the NBA.
Talk about a payday. How amazing for Bayless would it be if he stepped infer the golden child of a franchise and had his breakout season in front of the bright lights of Chicago? Strictly putting yourself in his shoes, that’s a sweet gig.
He may just be young enough to be influenced to come to Chicago and play on one of the rising teams in the NBA. Brandon Roy and other free agents have politely snubbed their nose at the Bulls but the young Bayless is impressionable and going from Toronto to Chicago may peak his interest.
This all may end up working out for the Bulls. They are struggling with a serious case of Luxury Tax-phobia and are basically like a man hugging the wall to avoid a small spider on the opposite side of the room. But if they can snag Bayless and manage to only go over the tax by a little bit (or not at all like Jerry Reinsdorf’s fantasy), then Chicago may be able to kill the spider on the other side of the room and play it off like everything was okay from the beginning.
Any offers the Bulls or any NBA teams extends can’t be signed until Jull 11 when free agency officially opens league wide.