Now that the draft is behind us and it looks like the Bulls have positioned themselves pretty well to not only add Lebron James but also let him bring a sidekick along with everyone is extremely excited, but who will fill out the rest of the roster?
Once the trade of Kirk Hinrich to Washington becomes final on July 8th it will leave the Bulls with only five players under contract.
We know Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah aren't going anywhere but it is no sure thing Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and James Johnson are here once the season starts but let's just assume. And no matter which two players the Bulls start most experts would assume they will sign a swing player (sg or sf) and a power forward.
NBA requires teams to have 13 players under contract which leaves six spots open for veteran free agents, resigning of own player, as well as undrafted free agents.
So, which Vets might be inclined to come to Chicago and play for cheap?
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I know, I know it didn't work out in Cleveland or Phoenix but would Shaq be willing to give it a go one more time.
Shaq was the oldest active player in the league last season after the Bulls had waived Lindsey Hunter.
There are two questions that need to be asked.
Does the Big Diesel have any gas left in the tank? I tend to think so and if not I think someone just needs to show him Kobe's press conference after winning title No. 5 saying he know has one more than Shaq.
Will he be willing to play for cheap? This is the part I doubt.
I don't see this move being made but it is interesting to think about. Shaq could be a nice complement to Noah but would he accept that role?
Way back when Michael Finley could have been a Bull. Imagine how he would have looked playing alongside Jordan and Pippen. Maybe the dynasty wouldn't have been broken up but general manager at the time Jerry Krause had a thing against drafting hometown kids.
Thank God he changed that policy in time to give us Eddy Curry.
Finley the former Sun, Mav, Spur and most recently Celtic was able to win a title in 2006 with the Spurs but this past season asked for his release to try and get some more playing time with a contending team which is how he ended up a Celtic.
The career 39 percent three point shooter might be a nice piece and wouldn't it be cool to have Finley and Rose bring a championship to their hometown?
Kurt Thomas has been around and basically for the last five seasons has been a hired gun for playoffs teams looking for a veteran bigman, but sadly has missed out on winning a title in his 15 year career.
Kurt might be the nice cheap choice if Shaq balks at playing for the league minimum.
Thomas would remind most Bulls fans of Antonio Davis and Pj Brown, and would be asked to fill that same role for this team.
Is a trend starting to develop? Barry is the third former Spur on this list.
Brent is a former Bull but only played here in Chicago during the lockout shortened season of 1999.
Brent Barry who won the slam dunk contest earlier in his career for doing the free throw line dunk made famous by Doctor J and Michael Jordan would be a nice piece on a team that needs shooters.
A career 40.5 percent three pointer sat out this past season but might be willing to come back and help the Bulls recapture their past glory
If you haven't been a Spur then you must be a native to Chicago to be on this list right?
Juwan Howard who is most famously a member of Michigan's Fab five could be a nice piece to a championship puzzle.
Howard played surprisingly well this past season for the Trailblazers when they were devastated by injuries at the center position. He will be able to come in, rebound and help stretch the floor.
He can't hit the three but has a good mid-range game and could be a good mentor to Taj Gibson.
It would be a nice story having Howard and Finley on the team along with Rose
Really more former Spurs.
Ratliff would be a perfect insurance policy/backup for Joakim Noah and would help against Dwight Howard.
The Bulls can't just sign big name guys and take whoever is willing to sign. They also need to plan ahead and see who they will have to match up with.
If they expect to win a title they have to have the big bodies to match up with the Magic and Lakers, and Theo's defense would be a nice fit.
They let Chris Duhon walk when they drafted Derrick Rose because of the presence of Kirk Hinrich but as we know Capt Kirk will be gone as of July 8th.
The question is how cheaply will Duhon come and is there any bad blood between Chris and the organization?
Chris is basically a poor version of Kirk Hinrich and would be a nice fit as a backup point guard. His 36 percent career three point percent wouldn't hurt either.
OK so far every player on this list minus Shaq has either played for the Spurs or has ties to the city of Chicago by playing here or being born here.
Well Ollie fits in the past player group but also fits in a new group. Ollie along with Shaq have played with Lebron before.
Kevin who played for the Cavs during Lebron's rookie season in 2003-2004 is a career 41 percent three point shooter.
I would probably prefer Duhon but the Bulls could do a lot worse then Ollie.
Finally a player with no ties to Chicago, Lebron or the Spurs.
Ray Allen is a free agent and has to ask himself how many more years do the Celtics team as constructed have left as title contenders.
Paul Pierce can opt out and there is talk coach Doc Rivers could retire which may leave Ray looking else where.
He could probably get more money elsewhere and since he has that ring he might not feel the need to sign for the minimum.
He also might be someone the team looks at if they strike out on guys like Lebron and Joe Johnson.
For the most part all these guys have one thing in common.
Subtract Chris Duhon from the group and all these guys are over the age of 35 and getting close to the end of their career.
I would expect the Bulls to try and sign two or three of these guys to help fill out their roster. Most of it and who they sign will depend on which of the big free agents sign on with the team.
If Lebron does end up in Chicago the list may grow and the Bulls will have their pick of the litter but if he doesn't and they just end up with two of the other guys they will still have a lot of guys interested in signing on but possibly not guys like Ray Allen willing to sign on for cheap.
July is going to be a fun month.