The Chicago Bulls made two relatively small but efficient moves on Tuesday. But does general manager Gar Forman have anything left up his sleeve?
According to Marc Stein of ESPN, the Bulls cut a deal for veteran shooting guard Mike Dunleavy to bring the veteran sharp shooter to Chicago on a two-year, $6 million deal. Dunleavy played for the Milwaukee Bucks last season, with whom he averaged 10.5 points per game on 42.8 percent shooting from three-point distance.
The Bulls didn't stop there with the savvy moves, though. Per K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Chicago locked up veteran big man Nazr Mohammad to a one-year extension. The 15-year veteran provided valuable end-of-the bench depth and the occasional spot-start for the Bulls and should provide the same asset to the Bulls this season.
So what could be on the horizon for the Bulls now? Here's the latest.
Monta Ellis a Possibility
Milwaukee Bucks shooting guard Monta Ellis is reportedly still on the Bulls' radar. According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Chicago is joined by the San Antonio Spurs, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and New York Knicks as teams that are interested in adding the explosive scorer to their rosters.
Berger doesn't mention the Bulls any further in the article. However, it should be assumed that a trade would need to be involved for Ellis to land in Chicago.
Other than a taxpayer mid-level exception that allows the Bulls to pay $3.2 million dollars this season, the team really doesn't have much wiggle room in the spending department.
However, a sign-and-trade could be in play for the guard. Ellis averaged 19.2 points and six assists per game last season.
Richard Hamilton on the Way Out
It appears the Rip Hamilton era will come to a close in Chicago.
According to Berger, the Bulls will opt to waive the veteran shooting guard rather than bring him back for another season and pay him a guaranteed $5 million:
Rip Hamilton will soon be a free agent as the Bulls will waive him rather than guarantee his $5 million salary for next season, source says.— Ken Berger (@KBergCBS) July 2, 2013
Hamilton averaged 21.8 minutes, 9.8 points and 2.4 assists per game in his 50 regular-season games for the Bulls last season.
Lange Green of Hoopsworld speculates that Hamilton will continue his playing career, citing the guard's last two playoff games against Miami as signs of life in the 14-year vet. He scored 11 and 15 points respectively in those games.
Gar Forman Takes Responsibility for Firing Ron Adams, Praises Thibodeau
When Bulls brass decided to let long-time assistant Ron Adams walk on Monday, the decision caused some speculation that it would cause some dissension between Forman and head coach Tom Thibodeau.
According to the USA Today, Forman has confirmed that the decision to let Adams go was made by him, but he does not think that it will impact his and Thibodeau's relationship going forward. Here's what he told USA Today:
We communicate about every decision, and at the end of the day, I've got to make the decisions I feel are best for this organization moving forward. We'll unite, and we'll move forward. Tom makes the decisions on the floor. He's our head coach. I think he's as good a coach as there is in the NBA. He does a great job.
Do I agree with absolutely every decision he makes?...We'll communicate, probably not. But at the end of the day, I'm going to support the decisions he makes, and I think he's going to support decisions that I make. As long as once they're made, we unite and move forward, because the goal is to continue to get this team better and to compete for a championship.
While Thibodeau may not like his general manager making final decisions about his coaching staff, it is clear that Forman has faith in Thibodeau's ability to lead this team to a championship.