Chicago Bulls: Moves That Could Put Bulls over Hump

Bob Bajek@bobbajekAnalyst IIINovember 30, 2011

Chicago Bulls: Moves That Could Put Bulls over Hump

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    The Chicago Bulls were so close to an NBA championship last year before falling to the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals.

    The Bulls lacked a true scoring shooting guard to pair up with superstar Derrick Rose, allowing the Heat's defense to double and triple team Rose and neutralize his offensive impact.

    With the NBA lockout ending, the Bulls need to make a few moves in order to compete with the Heat and Dallas Mavericks for an NBA title.

Chicago Bulls Need To Not Re-Sign Brian Scalabrine

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    The Chicago Bulls will not re-sign backup power forward Brian Scalabrine, and thank God for that.

    The 33-year-old Scalabrine, who is now playing for the Italian basketball club Benetton Treviso, was basically a glorified bench warmer/cheerleader on the Bulls' sidelines and barely played.

    In 2010-11, Scalabrine played in 18 games and a grand total of 88 minutes. He scored 20 points while committing 18 fouls.

    Without Scalabrine wasting a roster spot, the Bulls could actually sign a more valuable player who could contribute.

Chicago Bulls Need To Re-Sign Kurt Thomas

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    Backup center Kurt Thomas proved his value to the Chicago Bulls last season, so much so that the Bulls should really consider bringing him back.

    Thomas, 39, started 37 games in 2010-11 when Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah were out with injuries. Thomas is a tough one-on-one defender who can contest/block shots while providing a nice outside jumper to produce some easy points.

    No. 40 averaged 4.1 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 22:41 of work per game.

    Thomas did so well last year that the New York Knicks, Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks are all trying to ink him to a deal.

    With both Noah and Boozer so injury-prone, it would be wise for the Bulls to snag Thomas for one more year.

Chicago Bulls Need To Sign Tracy McGrady

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    To strengthen their bench, the Chicago Bulls are rumored to be highly interested in Detroit Pistons swingman Tracy McGrady.

    Getting McGrady would be a stellar move for the Bulls for many reasons.

    The 32-year-old former All-Star can still score in short spurts, so he could give the Bench Mob the scorer that it needs. He could also take over some of the ball-handling responsibilities when Derrick Rose is on the bench.

    McGrady would provide an intriguing second unit backcourt with C.J. Watson since both players have the ability to score and could play well off each other.

    McGrady scored 8.5 points and dished out 3.2 assists a game for the Pistons last season.

Chicago Bulls Should Use Amnesty Clause on Carlos Boozer

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    As I stated in a previous article, the Chicago Bulls should use the amnesty clause on power forward Carlos Boozer.

    Boozer was brought in for $76 million over five years to provide a strong post presence, but he failed to do that consistently for the Bulls last year. He was out of shape and played soft around the rim, missing many easy layups and dunks.

    Boozer, who should be a 20-10 player, averaged 17.6 points and 9.6 boards a game in 2010-11 while missing 23 games to injury.

    When playoff time rolled around, Boozer averaged a dismal 12.6 points a game while being non-existent against the Indiana Pacers and Miami Heat.

    With Boozer's enormous contract off the books, the Bulls could pursue a top shooting guard while letting the extremely capable Taj Gibson take over Boozer's starting spot.

Chicago Bulls Need To Win Bidding War for Marcus Thornton

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    After using the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer, the Chicago Bulls could aggressively go after Sacramento Kings restricted free-agent Marcus Thornton.

    Thornton is a shooting guard who had a breakout year for the Kings. He averaged 21.3 points and 3.4 assists in 27 games for Sacramento while logging major minutes.

    Thornton has averaged 13.6 points a game per 25 minutes through his two NBA seasons. He has a 44.3 percent shooting average and nails 37.1 percent of his shots from beyond the arc.

    The Bulls could probably pry Thornton from the Kings for $8-$10 million a year.

    While the Bulls could sign other guards like Jason Richardson and Arron Afflalo, Thornton is a dynamic scorer who would keep defenses honest with his driving and shooting abilities.

    Thornton would excel playing alongside Derrick Rose. The two would create isolation opportunities for each other and spread the floor for Luol Deng, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.

    With Thornton on the Bulls, the team would be a threat to win the NBA title.

    Bob Bajek is a writing intern at Bleacher Report. He is also a freelance reporter and can be followed at and Twitter.