NBA Free Agency 2011: 5 Players Chicago Bulls Should Target
Keith Bogans just isn't the answer, so the Bulls need to go shopping.
There's no question that when free agency kicks into full gear, the Bulls will be looking high and low for a replacement at shooting guard.
It's clear that that's what they need, and frankly, I think it's the only thing they should be looking for.
Here are five players the Bulls should be targeting this offseason, in order, based upon likeliness and how they would fit within the team.
5. Nick Young
Rob Carr/Getty Images
Nick Young has become one of the up-and-coming shooting guards in the NBA, seemingly under the radar. I feel as if very few people know who he is and realize that he averaged 17 points a game playing next to a fast-paced point guard in John Wall.
Young is No. 5 on this list simply because he's a restricted free agent and would be quite pricey for the Bulls. However, his production should be something the Bulls strongly think about investing a nice chunk of change into.
If he's producing so nicely alongside John Wall in Washington, slotting him alongside an even more athletic and talented MVP-caliber point guard in Derrick Rose could spell monster numbers for Young.
He's huge, 6'7" to be exact, and can score from anywhere on the court.
A Derrick Rose/Nick Young backcourt in Chicago would be one of the best scoring backcourts, if not the best, in the entire NBA.
4. Jamal Crawford
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Jamal Crawford is a name that pops up at the top of almost all lists regarding free-agent guards. However, I don't like him as much for the Bulls as most people do.
Don't get me wrong, I would welcome the addition of Crawford to the Bulls with open arms; there are just a lot of questions I would need to have answered before I was content with it.
Like: Is Crawford going to start? Well, assuming the Bulls sign him in the offseason, Crawford's going to have a high price tag as it is. He's 32 years old, and has become accustomed to being an off-the-bench scorer for much of his career. Meaning, he's only used to playing about 26 to 28 minutes a game.
I just don't know that with his age and how much he would demand to come to a championship contender that Crawford is the best option.
I was high on this acquisition directly after the Bulls' loss to the Heat; I've reverted back just a tad since then. Either way, he's a clear upgrade from what we have right now, and I can sit all right with that.
3. Jason Richardson
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Throughout his career, Jason Richardson has been a very solid perimeter defender. Even if his high-flying dunks and exceptionally athletic days are behind him, he'd be a very good fit into Tom Thibodeau's system.
I really like Richardson as a possible replacement for Keith Bogans. Despite being 30 years old, he has a lot left in the tank and I truly believe that.
Like I alluded to, Richardson isn't flashy anymore. He's probably not going to put the Bulls over the top, even if the top is as close as it is. He won't be the difference-maker as much as he'll bring consistency and stability to both sides of ball.
I guess we'll have to wait and see how this one plays out.
2. Shannon Brown
Harry How/Getty Images
I've been on the Shannon Brown bandwagon ever since his days at Proviso East HS, back when he was winning Illinois Mr. Basketball awards.
So, basically, what I'm saying is that I would welcome his return to Chicago with a myriad of angelic trumpets like I was at the gates of heaven.
Slotting Brown alongside of Derrick Rose would make the Bulls good for at least one SportsCenter Top 10 play every night.
Since opting out of his Lakers contract, Brown has received much buzz from many different teams, and the Bulls need to be at the top of the list.
With minimal playing time in LA, Brown put up good numbers. Not great numbers, but what do you expect when you play behind Kobe Bryant?
The main reason I like the Brown/Rose possibility is because of the athletic nightmare they would pose to any opponent. The fast break would be impossible to defend. He's young, as is D-Rose, meaning they could slate the two together for many years to come.
1. Arron Afflalo
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images
Like I mentioned with Shannon Brown, Arron Afflalo is a fantastic long-term option for the Bulls. Maybe the best long-term option.
At only 25 years old, he possesses a very nice athletic repertoire. He's 6'5" and is very skilled at getting the ball to the hoop. I love Afflalo as a Bulls option.
One main reason, he fits ideally into Thibodeau's system. He's a very strong defender, like Keith Bogans, but he can score the ball.
He will also understand his role in the offense. It's clear that Derrick Rose is and always will play the lead role in the offense, and Afflalo doesn't have a problem playing second fiddle. He's just not the kind of player who demands offensive attention.
It's clear of Afflalo's fit into the Bulls system, making him the best on-paper option for the team. However, his contract may the dam to a deal going down. He's restricted, meaning the Bulls would have to offer a contract that can be matched.
He's got huge potential, making the price worth it if you ask me.