One week ago today, it appeared as if the Chicago Bulls had placed an offer for guard J.J. Redick that Orlando could refuse. That changed today, as the Magic welcomed back Redick and his new three-year, $19 million contract that will put them in the luxury tax, and then some.
Back to the drawing board we go.
Outside of the odd number of former Mormon dwellers, it appears that what you see is the best that the Bulls will add to their roster going into the next season.
Redick was the last-ditch attempt Chicago made at getting a bona fide shooter to contribute to what Derrick Rose, (sometimes) Luol Deng, and new addition Kyle Korver will add to stretching the floor while on offense. Despite getting one of their prized options in Carlos Boozer, the Bulls' front office has practically struck out on what they wanted in the summer of the free agent.
You have to love what Boozer and Korver add to the Chicago nucleus, but it is clear that Brewer is not what cures the Bulls' ailing shooting guard opening. His defense is to be commended, and his shooting is a touch above average, but Rose was a better shooter from beyond the arc, and he admittedly was not too good at that prior to this summer. If a deep threat was what the Bulls wanted from their other guard, there is not much that Brewer or any other free agent can do to help.
The roster is taking shape, but there is still a need for another shooting guard, a backup point to spell off Rose, and another center. This is what is arguably the best of the rest of a depleted free agent crop.
Point Guard (Age, RFA or UFA)
Carlos Arroyo (30, UFA), Will Bynum (27, RFA ), Sergio Rodriguez (23, RFA ), Jamaal Tinsley (32, UFA), Earl Watson (31, UFA), and Jason Williams (34, UFA).
Keith Bogans (30, UFA), Shannon Brown (24, UFA with player option), Eddie House (32, UFA), Michael Redd (30, UFA with early termination option), C.J. Watson (26, RFA ), and Antoine Wright (26, UFA).
Jamaal Magloire (32, UFA), Brad Miller (34, UFA), Randolph Morris (24, UFA), Shaquille O'Neal (38, UFA), and Joel Przybilla (30, UFA with early termination option).
Yep, those are your options...gulp.
Taking a harder look at all three positions, you can see that there are viable options that would contribute if in Chicago. Tinsley is a solid backup, and trading for Bynum or Rodriguez is a possibility, but at what cost? Expect to see Tinsley or Earl Watson around for a veteran presence who can put up respectable numbers in 10-15 minutes plus a game.
The two-guard market is thinner than Shawn Bradley. The better options played in a place they would like to stay (Brown), or were hurt too often (Redd). Bogans and Wright add two position depth that could help the Bulls, while House would be another streaky sharpshooter to help stretch the pine. C.J. is probably not an option, as Golden State has traded away a lot of their talent already.
It would be hard not to believe that Brad Miller would come back to the west side for a chance to play with a talented frontcourt. His veteran play is coveted by a number of teams, but it is likely the Bulls would give him enough money to stay.
Morris has upside as a young guy in the paint, but has not proven much since playing in the big show. Przybilla would fit in very well with Chicago's system, but his injury concerns and probable want for a majority of playing time are what will keep him in Portland. That, and the fact that the Trail Blazers want nothing to do with Luol Deng's contract.
There is still time and options, but how much lower can the Bulls go into the junkyard before money asked for exceeds talent?
Then again, the "talented" scraps on the bench last year in Chicago were about as low as you can get for a playoff team.