After ten days of free agency, the Bulls have two moves on the horizon: they have agreed to a contract with former Bull Kirk Hinrich, and backup center Omer Asik has likely been signed away by Houston. Because of these two moves, the Bulls have very little flexibility in terms of signing any other players.
There are still many players on the free agent market that the Bulls would be interested in, and may have been linked to at certain points throughout the offseason. However even though many of them would be great fits for this Bulls team, most of them will not come to Chicago. Here are seven examples.
Jerryd Bayless is a player who would fit the Bulls' needs greatly. He has the ability to break down players off the dribble, as well as facilitate offense at times when Derrick Rose is off the court. He also hit the long range jumper at over a 42% rate.
Unfortunately, the Bulls do not have the money to sign a player like Bayless. He's a player who may have signed for the mini mid-level exception that the Bulls had available, but that money was spent on Kirk Hinrich. The only money the Bulls have to offer is a minimum level contract, and that's just flat out not enough.
It was recently reported that Lou Williams is not coming back to the Philadelphia 76ers, as they have decided to move in a different direction with former Clippers shooting guard Nick Young. Williams opted not to re-up with the Sixers after he decided he could get more money on the open market.
He would fit in very well with the Bulls, as he has the ability to shoot the long ball, and could easily be relied on as a secondary scoring option and ball handler next to Derrick Rose. He also has some ability to fit in for Derrick Rose until he comes back.
Lou Williams however is probably the best point guard left on the market, and will likely get a contract greater than what he is worth. That contract will be much more than the minimum.
O.J Mayo has been a piece that has been talked about for a long period of time. He was the third overall pick in the 2008 Draft where Derrick Rose has drafted, and has likely not found the right situation in Memphis.
Mayo averaged 18 points per game over his first two seasons, but since then has averaged under 12 and barely over 40% shooting from the field. He has the ability to score from many places on the court, and has the ability to run the offense to a certain extent.
Mayo is one of the more likely players to get signed and traded to the Bulls, but the question remains: what does Chicago have to get him from Memphis? The answer, unfortunately, is not enough.
Shannon Brown is a player who is one of the most athletic players in the NBA right now, and is known for his spectacular dunking ability, as well as his much improved three point shooting ability. Last year for Phoenix he was a solid player, and has earned a rotation spot on another team now.
Brown is a player without too much fanfare, as his averages and percentages are fairly pedestrian. However he is a player who could afford to make more money, as he has made $10 million in his career. It's most likely that Brown will follow the money, and the money just isn't in Chicago at this point.
Brandon Rush last season finished sixth in the NBA in three point percentage, and shot over 50% from the field overall, which is incredibly efficient for a guard. He averaged 26 minutes per game, but could put up much higher production on a team that doesn't have a true starting shooting guard like Chicago.
The Bulls' were rumored to be talking to Brandon Rush as free agency opened, and would absolutely have interest in him if he had interest in them. However just for shooting such a high percentage from three, Rush will have much bigger offers on the table than just the vet minimum.
Antawn Jamison was a player last year who scored decently on a lot of shot attempts for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Jamison is also a player who has made $140 million in his career, and isn't the type who would throw it all away, so is quite likely to sign for a discount.
Despite all these things, Chicago is not the destination for Jamison. The Bulls have a great three man rotation in the frontcourt, even with the potential loss of Omer Asik. Two of those players are at the power forward position, so it's very unlikely that Jamison would want to join a team where he couldn't even be the backup power forward.
Courtney Lee has been one of the Bulls' targets for years now. He is a player who has made a living on hitting the long-range jumper and playing tenacious defense, two things the Bulls could use. He is strong, athletic, a good shooter, and would fit very well in the starting lineup.
Because of this, he is a player who has had demand around the league, and will have demand throughout the league, especially with the lack of good shooting guards on the market. The Bulls have no ability to sign a player of Lee's caliber at this point.