By Philip Kay
As we all know, the Bulls need to get some perimeter shooting in their lineup. Rose, Noah, Boozer, and Deng are all locks to start, so the three point shooting needs to come from the off guard position. Two players that come to mind are free agent Delonte West and the disgruntled Blazer, Rudy Fernandez.
After a promising rookie year, things went down hill for Rudy Fernandez and he fell out of favor in Portland. Already having to play behind Brandon Roy, the Blazers signed Matthews Jr. to a big deal, leading to Fernandez demanding a trade. There was a lot of hype behind Rudy coming into the league, and many called him the second coming of Ginobili with his slashing and perimeter shooting. He could still end up being that player if given a chance, but even if he doesn’t improve, the Bulls would be a lot better off with him.
Offensively, Fernandez would be perfect next to Rose. With Rose or Boozer likely seeing a double team and both relying heavily on scoring close to the basket, a reliable shooter like Fernandez would punish teams from doubling either one of them. Everything else he brings to the table would only be a bonus.
On the defensive end, Fernandez has the tools to be a decent defender. As an athletic 6’6″ guard, buying into the same defensive system that made Eddie House and Nate Robinson look better than what they are should cover up for his defensive issues.
If the Blazers refuse to give Rudy up for what the Bulls are offering, the Bulls should look into the idea of adding Delonte West. West doesn’t have the potential that Fernandez has, but he’s proven himself as a solid NBA player. Although his three point shot isn’t deadly, teams still respect his outside shot enough to make sure he doesn’t get an open look. He’s also a capable defender, so he won’t hurt the team.
What leaves West unsigned are his previous issues and many label him as a cancer. However, West has always been considered a good locker room guy and doesn’t let his issues get with his teammates unless your name is Lebron. Delonte likely won’t command much money so signing him to a small deal should be a low risk high reward scenario.
Right now, the Bulls focus is on Rudy Fernandez. Talks with the Blazers haven’t stopped, but the Bulls simply aren’t offering enough to get a deal completed right now. Time will tell to see who bites first, or if no one changes their stance.