The NBA lockout is not over yet, but one thing seems to be a foregone conclusion. There will be amnesty, and the Bulls might be the biggest beneficiary of that aspect of the agreement, even though they don't need to waive anyone.
The Bulls aren't in need of a great player to put them over the top, merely a good one. Essentially, as I've repeated on numerous occasions, they need a shooting guard who can shoot and guard. They have one who can shoot, Kyle Korver, and two who can guard, Keith Bogans and Ronnie Brewer, but none who can shoot and guard.
The potential amnesty buyouts, though, lead the possibility open of several players who could fit that bill and be enough to put the Bulls over the top. The best part is, that with a fat wad of cash in their wallets, the players in question might be looking to land a ring more than a paycheck, so they could find the Bulls an attractive option, and they could come cheap.
Here are some names that are floated as potential amnesty buyouts, and the order that they would fall in in potential help to the Bulls.
It's hard to believe that Arenas is only 30 years old, but he is. The once potential star has become more nuclear waste than nuclear option. He is essentially the poster boy for the amnesty clause. Would he be a potential fit on the Bulls roster?
Well, if he were to get the buyout, and with the new slate revamp his career, it's possible. It's highly unlikely, though. He only averaged 10.8 points per 36 minutes last year. He was a vast disappointment and failure when he got that "fresh start" in Orlando.
He had no magic left as a Wizard or with the Magic. It's hard to believe he'd find it with the Bulls. Arenas might get floated as a name, but it's not going to happen. The Bulls pay too much attention to chemistry to let a guy like Arenas on board.
Hamilton's game has been on the decline for two years, and his attitude has slid faster than his basketball abilities. The Pistons may be holding out for the hope that his expiring contract might have some trade value, or they might be just ready to part ways with him.
Would a change of location change his attitude? Would a change in attitude change his game? Hamilton has the ability to play both sides of the ball, but without the motivation, it doesn't matter.
With Hamilton, the problem is that you don't know what midseason Rip is going to look like. If he gets disgruntled, you're stuck with him. he might help, but he could have an issue later on. There are better options, but as a last chance, he is better than Bogans.
From Rip to Rip City, Brandon Roy has "knee(ds)" that leave him as a potential amnesty player. He still has the ability to play, though, as he showed in flashes last year in the postseason. They might give him another year, and they might just let him go.
If they do let him go, the Bulls would be well served to give him a good look. He did still average almost 16 points per 36 minutes last year, and would be far and away the most complete shooting guard on the Bulls. If he is even 75 percent of his former self, the Bulls would have arguably the best backcourt in the NBA.
Francisco Garia isn't a great player, but he's a solid player. He's not going to set the world on fire, but his 14.5 points per 36 minutes might be just enough. He's a .362 percent three point shooter.
About 18 percent of his makes are unassisted, which isn't great, but is better than Bogans, who had one unassisted field goal last year.
He's a competent defensive player who would be similar to Bogans in that regard, but better offensively. He'd be better than what the Bulls have to offer and probably come the cheapest.
Baron Davis promises to be one of the virtual guaranteed amnesty buyouts. He also presents a tremendously intriguing option for the Chicago Bulls.
Davis might not be as good as he once was, but he does still have some real ability left in him. When he's happy, he can ball. When he's not happy, though, he bawls.
A backcourt with Davis and Derrick Rose would provide some interesting looks. Both players can play both backcourt positions, and as such, would really be able to present some tough looks to defend. Certainly, Rose wouldn't be the only one on the team who could create his own shot.
I like Mike Miller as a player; I just never understood the Heat signing him. With limited funds, I couldn't figure out why they would use them on a backup.
There is a potentially fascinating scenario playing out where Miami buys out Miller using the amnesty clause and then Miller signs with the Bulls. Then, the Heat use the money they've freed up to get Baron Davis.
In that way, the two best teams in the Eastern Conference widen the gap between them and anyone else.
Miller is an outstanding three-point shooter, over 40 percent for his career. He's a decent defender. He knows how to create his own shot. He could be an amazing role player at shooting guard for the Bulls.
It's been (or should I say "Ben") rumored that Gordon is the player that Detroit actually buys out. Gordon hasn't been happy in Detroit, and Detroit hasn't been getting what they thought they were getting.
That could be great news for the Bulls. A home coming for the former star would make for a fantastic final piece of the puzzle. Putting Gordon back on the Bulls would be spectacular. He already knows the most of the key players and would fit snugly with the team. He's probably the best possible option for the team.