NBA Rumors: Marco Belinelli Pursuit Highlights Bulls' Free-Agent Failures

Nicholas GossCorrespondent IJuly 22, 2012

NEW ORLEANS, LA - FEBRUARY 08:  Marco Belinelli #8 of the New Orleans Hornets drives the ball around Joakim Noah #13 of the Chicago Bulls at New Orleans Arena on February 8, 2012 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  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 Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls have done very little in free agency to add players who will give them a strong chance to dethrone the Miami Heat as the best team in the Eastern Conference next year.

Signing players like Marco Belinelli, who Chicago is reportedly interested in (via Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld), won't help the Bulls roster improve enough to beat contenders such as the Heat, Boston Celtics and New Jersey Nets during the 2012-13 NBA season.

It sounds like Marco Belinelli and the Chicago Bulls are in advanced talks. Nothing imminent, but he may sign for the bi-annual exception.

— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 20, 2012

The Bulls have not been aggressive enough in free agency and this approach could cost them a chance at winning the NBA Finals next year.

They should have tried harder to sign scorers like O.J. Mayo and Jason Terry, both of whom would have been fantastic additions to the Bulls' bench. Chicago doesn't have enough scoring in the backcourt, and once again, 2011 NBA MVP Derrick Rose will have to carry the team offensively.

Richard Hamilton cannot be relied on to score enough points at shooting guard at this stage of his career, and asking rookie Marquis Teague to shine in his first NBA season is unfair.

Belinelli can stretch the floor with good outside shooting and will average about 10 points per game, but he won't add another dimension to the Bulls offense. He won't take over games and is not capable of creating his own shot against good defensive players.

The Bulls have missed a golden opportunity this summer to get better and be a top contender next season, but their failures in free agency will hurt them a lot next year.

Unless Chicago makes a move at the trade deadline, they won't get past a much-improved Celtics team or the defending champion Heat in the playoffs next season.