Chicago Bulls: 5 Potential Shooting Guard Options for the Bulls
Last season, Derrick Rose was able to capture his first career MVP award while averaging 25 points per game and dishing out seven assists, all while being double-teamed and more by every team in the league. One main reason for Rose constantly being double-teamed, despite his great ability, was the lack of a shooting presence from their shooting guard.
The Bulls starting shooting guard was Keith Bogans. In 82 starts last year, Bogans averaged a measly 4.4 points per game while his backup, Ronnie Brewer, averaged 6.2 points off the bench.
In order for the Bulls to take the next step, and compete for a championship, they will need to find a shooter that can keep teams honest while defending Rose.
Here is a list of five potential shooting guard options.
1.) Jamal Crawford
Jamal Crawford is no stranger to Chicago, having been part of draft day deal in 2000 that sent him to the Bulls from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for the Bulls pick, Chris Mihm.
In Crawford's four seasons in Chicago, he averaged only 10 points per game. After being traded from Chicago to the Knicks, Crawford began to find a groove, average around 17 points per game. After a stop with the Warriors, Crawford found a home with the Atlanta Hawks and became the NBA's Sixth Man of the Year for the 2009-2010 season.
Crawford's three-point shooting ability and nice jump shot are two of the reasons why Crawford makes the most sense to become the Bulls starting shooting guard. One question mark is whether or not Crawford can thrive as a starter, having spent the past few seasons coming off the bench.
2.) Jason Richardson
One way to keep teams honest while playing defense against Derrick Rose is bring in a player with explosiveness. Enter, Jason Richardson.
Richardson has had his ups and downs in his NBA career, but it has been no secret that when on, Richardson can play with great explosiveness and has a great shooter's touch.
In Richardson's 10 seasons in the NBA, he has averaged 18 points per game, as well as shooting 33 percent from beyond the arc. Richardson has bounced around in recent years, spending time with Golden State, Charlotte, Phoenix and Orlando.
Richardson offers a different dynamic from Jamal Crawford, with his ability to also defend the perimeter well. The strengths of Richardson's game are not with the ball in his hand, but he spreads the floor well and is more of a slasher type than a creator.
3.) Vince Carter
With the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement, teams will be granted an amnesty clause that would allow teams to waive a player, although still being responsible for their salary, that number no longer counts against the team's salary cap. Many teams around the league will use this opportunity to waive older players with larger contracts, i.e. Vince Carter.
Vince Carter entered the league in 1998 and immediately made in impact. Carter became known as an incredible dunker, and one of the more dynamic players in the league.
Throughout his career, Carter has averaged 22 points per game and has shot 37 percent from beyond the arc. Despite being in the league as long as he has, he remains consistent.
Carter might not still possess the slashing, big-play abilities that he once did, but he's still able to spot up and drain jumpers but often tends to fade away and force shots.
Carter would compliment Rose's ability to push the ball, and is a an underrated open-floor passer.
4.) Richard Hamilton
Richard Hamilton is expected to be another possible amnesty clause veteran who will get waived and could peak the interest of the Bulls.
Hamilton could offer a valuable veteran presence on a generally young team to go along with good scoring ability. Hamilton's game is not at the level it once was, but he can still drive to the basket, works well in transition and can put up jumpers.
One knock on Hamilton's game is his defense, and given head coach Tom Thibodeau's affinity for quality defense, Hamilton could be a long shot.
It would not come as much of a surprise if the Bulls decide to move forward with what they've got. Whether that is putting a prototypical point guard, like C.J. Watson, at the 2 or using a combination of defensive standout Ronnie Brewer or sharp shooter Kyle Korver.
Each of these current Bulls offers a different set of skills, Watson is best suited being Rose's backup, and can run the floor with the same speed as Rose and distributes the ball well.
Brewer is an interesting candidate because of his stellar defense, but offensively, he does not provide enough fire power to keep defenses honest, knowing they can leave Brewer alone on the outside, because of his poor jump shot skills.
Kyle Korver is not the typical NBA 2 guard given his lack of speed and does not do well when defended by bigger/stronger guards. Korver is a three-point specialist, best utilized in the role he currently is in.
While all three of these players could be candidates, I would look for the Bulls to use them as starters, only as a last resort.