Today the madness of NBA free agency will begin. The NBA announced today that teams can now begin talking to free agents and make unofficials signings and trades. Free agent signings and trades wont become official until December 9th when training camp opens. So now the question is asked, what will the Bulls do in the coming days? Teams will be acting fast to gather who they can before everyone is nabbed up.
The Bulls could wait to see who is amnestied (each team has a chance to waive one player, still pay his contract but wont count against their cap) however from what I’ve heard the Bulls may look at other options to fill their shooting guard issues. The Bulls currently are 50/50 on bringing back Keith Bogans, but whether they do or dont, it is likely he will not be the teams starting shooting guard come Christmas day.
Look for the Bulls to target former all-star veterans. Players that are either at the tail end of their career looking to win or have been injured in the past looking to prove themselves again. A highly regarded Phoenix Suns source of mine tells me Vince Carter would immedietely sign with the Bulls if his option is not picked up by the Suns. He is hoping there is mutual interest. He almost certainly would sign close to the veterans minimum for a chance to play here.
However, I’m told the Bulls will wait first to hear the status of Richard Hamilton. If Hamilton is bought out, the Bulls will move quickly to pick him up and make him the starting shooting guard for the upcoming season. Hamilton is the Bulls #1 free agent target, if he is not available the Bulls will move to other names.
For instance, players such as Tracy McGrady, we all heard Stephen A. Smith say T-Mac would love to play here if there is mutual interest. Other players the Bulls will look at are Josh Howard, Michael Redd & Caron Butler (I picture him signing with Heat or Clippers though). The Bulls could also try to sign a couple of these guys (for example Howard AND Michael Redd, to have a little insurance and depth in case one gets injured).
Of course, the Bulls would love to sign a Jason Richardson or Jamal Crawford, but only if they will come on inexpensive deals (which is not likely).
Now, another possibility that nobody is talking about is finding a two guard via trade. I have already heard the Bulls and Pacers have had discussions about Danny Granger, likely for expiring contracts of Kyle Korver and Ronnie Brewer and a young big man such as Omer Asik. However, that deal could be on the back burner for the time being as the Pacers are looking to trade for Rajon Rondo. Regardless, look for the Bulls to explore packaging expiring contracts and a big man for available shooting guards. If that were to occur and occur quickly, the Bulls would likely shop around for an insurance back up big man.
Lastly, I read a tidbit from K.C. Johnson of the Tribune that the Bulls could look at T.J Ford, management and the coaching staff loves Ford and could sign him regardless of who they signs or start at shooting guard. However, the Bulls would also be content with a point guard group of Rose, Watson and Lucas.
And with that… what a great feeling it is to talk basketball again… this next week or two will be absolutely nuts with signings and trades, all flowing in like never before. The Bulls have endless possibilities and options, we will see in the coming days which direction they go, it should be fun.