Chicago Bulls Should've Signed Gilbert Arenas, Not Mike James

Bob BajekAnalyst IIIJanuary 12, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MARCH 03: Gilbert Arenas #1 of the Orlando Magic drives against Mike Bibby #0 of the Miami Heat during a game at American Airlines Arena on March 3, 2011 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

When Derrick Rose sat out with an injury against the Washington Wizards Wednesday, John Lucas III and the recently signed Mike James (via The Chicago Tribune) filled the Chicago Bulls point guard position.

However, the Bulls missed the perfect opportunity of signing free agent Gilbert Arenas to shore up their depleted backcourt in the long term. 

The Bulls currently have injuries to Derrick Rose (a sprained left big toe that's day-to-day via AP), C.J. Watson (a sprained/dislocated left elbow via SB Nation) and Richard Hamilton (a strained left groin via The Chicago-Sun Times).

With both Rose and Watson out, the Bulls had no backup for Lucas, so they signed the 36-year-old James to a non-guaranteed contract. James has been out of the NBA for a couple years and was clearly an emergency signing and an intended cut when players return.

Meanwhile, Lucas did have a great night against the Wizards (25 points, eight assists and eight rebounds), yet he had to take 28 shots to gain those points. Also, Lucas forced some shots instead of letting the play develop more—hurting Chicago's offensive flow.

Rose doesn't seem to have a major injury, but both Watson and Hamilton have missed seven games due to injury. Both may have nagging aches and pains throughout the season, and that would require the Bulls to get another guard for insurance.

Instead of signing James for a quick fix, the Bulls should have had more foresight and signed Arenas to a deal. Arenas, 30, was a past NBA star who provides some length (6'4"), and strong scoring abilities off the bench.

Agent Zero was amnestied by the Orlando Magic to clear cap space—not because the Magic didn't want him. Arenas played fairly well for the Wizards last year, scoring 17 points a night.

In Arenas, the Bulls would get a capable backup who can be a potent sixth man off the bench or even a fill-in starter if Rose and/or Hamilton have nagging injuries. Arenas is a great passer who sees the court well, and he will give Rose more of an opportunity to play off the ball.

The Bulls have great depth, but injuries and an extremely condensed schedule are challenging that depth. Adding solid players like Arenas prevents potential serious injuries from derailing the Bulls NBA title chances.

Hopefully it won't be too late to sign Arenas, because he might be offended the Bulls didn't call him. While Agent Zero didn't list the Bulls as one of the three teams he wanted to sign with (via, he might be offended Chicago didn't sign him when a desperate situation occurred. 

James will only be here for a few games, but Arenas would be a season-long solution to prevent injuries from possibly ruining the Bulls' championship aspirations.


Bob Bajek is a Featured Columnist for the Chicago Bulls. He is also a freelance reporter, and can be followed on and Twitter.