Chicago Bulls: What Can the Team Do to Fill Their Void at Shooting Guard
It became blatantly obvious that Chicago will not be able to get through the Heat and onto the NBA Finals with a Bogans/Brewer/Korver combo running next to Derrick Rose and Luol Deng on the wing.
While the 2011 Free Agent class isn't nearly as appealing as the 2010 class, it still may contain the player Chicago needs to make the jump.
Looking at the Vets
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These guys have payed their dues and are well-past the prime of their careers. Each of them provide a cheap option for the Bulls, but durability issues make them a risk.
Richardson still has some lift in his legs that made him a back-to-back slam dunk champion, but he was more of a spot-up shooter last season in Orlando.
Anthony Parker had been a target of the Bulls' in the past. The former Cavalier offers some versatility and doesn't appear interested in re-signing with Cleveland.
If it seems like Mike Redd has been injured for years, it's because he has. The unrestricted free agent made $18.3 million last season and would likely sign for the veteran's minimum.
Tracy McGrady is another player who seemed to be constantly injured for some time, yet he had somewhat of a comeback for the Pistons last season.
Restricted Free Agents
We'll have to wait and see how available some these guys actually are, but if they are, look for a number of teams to make a run at these guys looking for their first big NBA paycheck.
Afflalo and Chandler are both coming off good seasons in Denver. Afflalo has been a defensive stalwart for Denver since being traded there from Detroit in 2009. He has recently been sporting a solid jumper as well.
Chandler is more of a natural small forward, but has played a lot of shooting guard during his career because he has constantly lined up next to Danilo Gallinari. Many fans would like the Bulls to pursue Chandler because shooting guard and small forward are basically interchangeable in Tom Thibodeau's system.
Nick Young had a great year next to John Wall, averaging 17.4 points a game in about 31 minutes of play. Personality and character issues, however, have some wondering if he would be worth the risk.
After being traded to the Kings in February, Marcus Thornton's scoring average jumped from 7.8 in 16.2 minutes a game, to 21.3 points per game in 38.1 minutes. He probably wouldn't be playing close to 40 minutes a night in Chicago, but he could prove to be an efficient scorer next to Rose.
Unrestricted Free Agents
With the freedom the sign anywhere they want, these guys could cash in with teams that have a lot of money to throw at them or sign with a contender like Chicago for a discounted price.
Jamal Crawford had some harsh words when he left Chicago prior to the 2004-2005 season. The 2010 NBA Sixth Man of the Year could make fans forget and forgive him if he came back to run with Chicago.
Shannon Brown can run, jump, shoot and defend. Some have him pegged as the Bulls' top priority. He has said that he wants to stay with the Lakers, but their second round sweep at the hands of the Mavs may have Brown looking for more playing time elsewhere.
J.R. Smith has elite athleticism and shooting ability. He has also proven to be a distraction on and off the court for the teams he has played for. If he could stay out of trouble and start to realize some of his enormous potential,
A few names that have been tossed around trade talks this offseason are those of Rip Hamilton, Courtney Lee and Monta Ellis.
Detroit appears ready to say goodbye to Hamilton and any of the other vets they have as they rebuild. Hamilton's contract could be bought out, but if not, he should cost Chicago too much. His playing time has steadily declined over the past few seasons and would most likely give any contender a discount.
Chicago has been chasing Courtney Lee for quite some time now. The sweet-shooting guard is currently in a log jam, sitting behind Kevin Martin in Houston. His range and shooting ability is highly coveted by the Bulls.
Monta Ellis is a player many fans want Chicago's front office to pursue. He has been made available by Golden State and is being pursued by quite a few teams. While no one can doubt the talent he possesses, many doubt that he could coexist with Derrick Rose and accept a role as a secondary option on offense.