The first domino of the Chicago Bulls’ offseason has fallen, as Nate Robinson announced in a post on Instagram that he will not be returning to Chicago next season.
Robinson signed a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum last July after the Bulls gutted their bench and decided they weren’t comfortable with rookie Marquis Teague backing up Kirk Hinrich at the point until Derrick Rose’s return. Originally intended to be little more than a bench scorer, Nate ended up playing a much larger role than expected when Hinrich kept getting hurt and Rose’s return never materialized.
While Nate was undeniably productive and one of the best bargains in the league, his departure was essentially inevitable. The Bulls are capped out and thus could only re-sign Robinson if they offered him a portion of their mini mid-level exception, which would hamstring any efforts to sign any other free agents. Furthermore, Robinson figures to command more on the open marke than the Bulls would be willing and/or able to pay.
Oh, and there’s that thing where the Bulls already have three point guards under contract for next season. That probably didn’t help anything.
Anyway, bon voyage to you, Nate. Thanks for the memories.