Chicago Bulls Rumors: Courtney Lee and Best Available Shooting Guard Upgrades
Less than one season after signing veteran Richard Hamilton to a three-year, $15 million contract, the Chicago Bulls are in the market for a shooting guard again.
The team decided that one year of Rip's services was enough and has put him on the trade market, according to the Chicago Tribune.
This decision comes as a shock to most considering Hamilton's numbers improved immensely his first year in Chicago. Despite his season being mired with injuries, Hamilton shot 45.2 percent from the field, his most efficient clip since 2007-08.
Regardless, the Bulls are ready to move on to greener pastures. But with the 2012 NBA free agency period reaching the bottom barrel, what guys are left for the Bulls to choose from?
Here's a look at a few guys the team has been linked to:
Free Agent Type: Unrestricted
2011-12 Team: Houston Rockets
One of the overarching goals of the Bulls trade of Kyle Korver to the Atlanta Hawks is opening up a $5 million trade exception for the possible acquisition of a player like Lee.
As it stands, Chicago is over the salary cap and cannot offer a player more than the veteran's minimum after using the mini mid-level exception on point guard Kirk Hinrich.
That means the only way the Bulls will nab Lee is by negotiating a sign-and-trade with the Houston Rockets—something the Rockets are reportedly amenable to, per the Chicago Tribune.
If the Bulls do somehow land Lee, he could be the answer to all the team's guard problems. The four-year veteran is just 26 years old, a brilliant defender and a knockdown shooter from beyond the arc.
Free Agent Type: Restricted
2011-12 Team: Golden State Warriors
There haven't been many rumblings about the Bulls and Rush in free agency but the team had him on the radar at the beginning of the period according to the Chicago Tribune.
If the team loses out on Lee, Rush could be a perfect consolation prize for Chicago. Like Lee, Rush is a young, lights-out shooter who can guard both the shooting guard and small forward positions. Rush scored 9.8 points per game and shot a career-high 45.2 percent from three last season in Golden State.
According the San Jose Mercury News, the Warriors reportedly will match up to the mid-level for their shooting guard, so it would take a nice trade piece to complete a sign-and-trade.
But if the Bulls truly have interest in solving their guard woes, they'll have to give up something to get something.
2011-12 Team: Phoenix Suns
Free Agent Type: Unrestricted
According to Fox Sports columnist Chris Tomasson, the Bulls and Suns are among the teams interested in bringing in Redd.
If the Bulls wind up failing to make a sign-and-trade for Lee or Rush, Redd could be a fantastic secondary option.
The former All-Star stayed healthy for the first time in three years and scored 19.5 points per-36 minutes in Phoenix this past season. That would suggest that the 32-year-old has something left in his sweet-shooting tank.
Redd would also likely come at the veteran's minimum, so the Bulls would not have to part with a draft pick or any assets for his services.
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