Bulls Rumors: Latest on Rip Hamilton, Nate Robinson and More Chicago Buzz

Alex Kay@AlexPKayCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 26: Richard Hamilton #32 of the Chicago Bulls moves against Monta Ellis #11 of the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center on November 26, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois. 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 Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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As expected, the Chicago Bulls are having a rough time without Derrick Rose early in the 2012-13 campaign.

What wasn’t predicted was just how bad coach Tom Thibodeau’s defense would be at times. The head coach's ability to teach practically anyone to lock down the opposition is why he holds his current position, and why it’s extremely puzzling that the Bulls' recent struggles are on that end of the court.

It’s a cause for concern that team brass may seek to rectify via the trade market, and there’s a chance the franchise makes a move by the February deadline. Let’s take a look at some rumors being floated around about who may on their way in or out of the Windy City.


Rip Hamilton

It’s no surprise that Hamilton is one of the most talked about names when it comes to potential trades with the Bulls.

The 13-year veteran has only played in 15 games this season and has been dealing with a right foot problem that has hindered his performance.

According to CSN Chicago’s Aggrey Sam, the franchise is receptive to offers for the three-time All-Star shooting guard, but there aren’t going to be many interested parties due to the injury.

One potential partner is reportedly the Phoenix Suns, but it remains to be seen if Rip will consent to playing for a non-contender at the age of 34 and just one team-option season left on his contract (worth $5 million).

If something does happen with Hamilton, we expect it will take place right before or at the deadline.


Nate Robinson

While the Bulls will likely seek value for Hamilton, they may let go of another high-scoring guard free of cost.

The Chicago Tribune’s K.C. Johnson reports that the team may let Nate Robinson go prior to January 10—the date his contract becomes fully guaranteed.

With Derrick Rose likely heading back from injury in the near future, the club is starting to believe a volume backup scorer like Robinson will become expendable. Marquis Teague’s development as a backup is also a reason the diminutive gunner is falling out of favor in ChiTown.

It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Robinson in the coming weeks.


Raja Bell

It’s been a while, but Raja Bell still hasn’t found his way out of his undesirable situation with the Utah Jazz.

If the team ever frees up the veteran guard, there is a chance the Chicago Bulls will sign him to a non-guaranteed contract (like Robinson is currently on), according to Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski.

Obviously, we don’t believe Bell would be running for a buyout of his cushy $3.4 million deal in order to play behind a number of other guards in Chicago’s rotation. Perhaps if Rip were dealt and Robinson cut, the vet would be more open to seeking a release and joining the Bulls.

We’ll keep you updated on that situation and more right here on B/R.