The "Rip" Hamilton experiment didn't work for the Chicago Bulls. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls are openly shopping the services of shooting guard Richard Hamilton. Thus far, there have been no teams with reported interest.
The Bulls thought the premier backcourt tandem of Hamilton and Derrick Rose would make the team legitimate contenders. The only problem was Hamilton was far from his prime when he won a championship in Detroit with the Pistons.
Rose was hobbled by injuries much of the season before he ultimately tore his ACL. Hamilton suffered a similar fate for much of the season, playing in just 28 games last year and averaging 11.6 points per game.
Simply put, those aren't the kind of numbers that are going to propel the Bulls ahead of the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference.
So, where do the Bulls go from here?
They need to find some help in the backcourt and quickly, because the market is thinning. The team needs to expect that Rose will not be ready for the beginning part of the season.
The team recently lost point guard C.J. Watson via free agency to the Brooklyn Nets. He was likely to be the team's starting point guard while Rose was on the shelf.
Now the team is without a legitimate starter at either starting guard position. This is a huge problem for the Bulls, as they are offensively challenged even with Rose.
However, the team is a reported finalist to land the talents of free-agent O.J. Mayo. This would be a huge upgrade for the Bulls. He's very athletic, young and has yet to reach his ceiling.
Getting rid of Hamilton's expiring contract is the first step in an important offseason for the Chicago Bulls. This is a team that needs to get younger and more explosive offensively. If they can acquire Mayo, it will make the return of Rose that much better.