Bulls Rumors: Chicago Must Continue to Pursue Marco Belinelli

Adam FromalNational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 18, 2012

DENVER, CO - JANUARY 09:  Marco Belinelli #8 of the New Orleans Hornets looks on as he awaits a free throw against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on January 9, 2012 in Denver, Colorado. The Hornets defeated the Nuggets 94-81. 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 Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls aren't exactly enjoying this offseason as the management stews over whether or not to match the Houston Rockets' offer sheet for Omer Asik.

With C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver already gone, the fearsome bench mob employed by head coach Tom Thibodeau is already dismantled. Every time the Bulls show interest in someone, he ends up signing with someone else. O.J. Mayo is just the latest example.

Now, the Bulls must continue to pursue their latest target: Marco Belinelli.

According to HoopsWorld's Alex Kennedy, the Los Angeles Clippers dropped out of the race for the New Orleans Hornets shooting guard once they used their bi-annual exception to sign Grant Hill. Now, the race is coming down to the Bulls, Orlando Magic, Golden State Warriors and New York Knicks.

Whatever the Bulls have to do, they must continue to purse Belinelli, as he's one of the best shooting guards left on the market and someone that they can actually land. 

Chicago desperately needs a shooting guard, especially as they continue to shop Rip Hamilton. Going to war with Jimmy Butler as the primary option at the 2 and Kirk Hinrich sliding over to the position is not going to fly. 

The Italian guard in question averaged 11.8 points, 1.5 assists and 2.6 rebounds per game last season for the Hornets as he filled in for an injured Eric Gordon, earning him a PER of 12.0. 

Belinelli isn't a particularly great defender, but he's not too much of a liability on that end either, which should ease Thibodeau's mind as he thinks about a potential acquisition. 

More than anything else, Belinelli is a shooter. He enjoys pulling the trigger when he can and rarely drives the ball to the hoop, preferring to ply his trade near the perimeter. 

After losing Derrick Rose for an extended period of time, the Bulls have to find a way to make up for the loss in scoring output. Adding a score-first guard like Belinelli would undoubtedly help. 

Plus, Belinelli would thrive playing alongside Rose when he returns from injury. With the defensive attention paid to the former MVP, Belinelli's accuracy shooting the ball would be even more valuable. 

At this point, the fans in Chicago are getting a bit restless, as the Bulls refuse to make any moves. As long as Chicago refuses to let Belinelli escape from their pursuit, the fans will be able to relax a bit.