What should Chicago Bulls fans make of the recent rumors surrounding the free agency discussions with 6-foot-5 guard Iman Shumpert?
According to Shams Charania of the Athletic, the Chicago Bulls have been in contact with free agent wing Iman Shumpert. Shumpert started the season as a member of the Sacramento Kings, in which he ended up being a pleasant surprise or the team, averaging 8.9 points and 1.1 steals per game on 36 percent three point shooting in 26 minutes of action per contest. After being moved to Houston at the deadline, he saw his minutes drop off but continued to put up decent numbers.
Shumpert was nearly forgotten about by the basketball world after being shipped out of Cleveland in the mass overhaul two years ago. He proved himself to be a useful piece once again, drawing interest from the contending Houston Rockets last season and also contributing to the playoff-hopeful Kings.
The fact that the 29-year-old has yet to receive any interest from a contender is a bit puzzling, as he was considered a hot trade commodity at last year’s deadline, even while he carried a cap hit of $11 million in the final year of his contract. The rumor is that the Bulls and Grizzlies have been in talks with the perimeter defender: two teams far from being championship-caliber squads.
Bringing Shumpert into Chicago would be a phenomenal move by the front office. First and foremost, he is still a serviceable three-and-d player who can come in and give minutes off of the bench.
Reserve issues were perhaps the Bulls biggest downfall in the disappointing 2018-2019 season, and the Chicago Native Shumpert could absolutely play a part in remedying this.
In addition, the Bulls are a bit short on depth at both small forward and shooting guard. Iman would be able to fill a need at both of these positions and could very well compete for real playing time. With the Bulls at the salary cap max already, Shumpert would be joining the team on a veterans minimum deal.
This is ideal for Chicago as if things do not work out, he is easy to waive. Also, if the Bulls season does not go as expected, the team would be able to possibly move him to a contender very easily, thanks to the minimum-level deal he would sign to become a Bull.
In short, signing the former NBA Champion would be a low-risk move that could move the Bulls one step closer to getting back into the playoffs since the 2016-17 season. With the preseason coming to an end, look for the Bulls to make this move before Wednesday’s season opener in Charlotte.