Hallelujah, the NBA is back.
It took longer than we hoped, but thank God there will be a season this year. That being said, there still is a lot of sorting out to do. Where will free agents and unrestricted free agents land? What players will be let go by the new amnesty clause? Only time will tell.
One thing I know for sure is that the Chicago Bulls will be looking to add a shooting guard.
The Bulls have to decide whether or not to exercise Keith Bogans' $1.73 million team option or let him test the free-agent market. Even if they do retain Bogans, the Bulls will still want to add another shooting guard who can provide significant offense for the team.
The Bulls ranked 20th last season in points per game and adding another scorer is just what they need to put the team over the top.
Right now the Bulls are over the salary cap, but because they are under the tax threshold the team can still offer the maximum mid-level exception of $5 million.
The following are five shooting guards the team must pursue.
Vince Carter is one of the most electrifying players the game has ever seen. However, at 34 years old Carter will be entering his 14th season in the NBA, and is still in pursuit of his first championship.
While his play has definitely declined, Carter would provide valuable offense for the Bulls. Critics will argue that Carter is lazy and washed up, but he is coming off a season in which he averaged 14 points per game.
He may not be a high-flier anymore, but Carter’s jumper is still there.
It is obvious that the Bulls' biggest weakness is at the 2-guard. The team was interested in Richard Hamilton last season so it is likely that they will be after him again.
According to the Chicago Tribune, if "Richard Hamilton shakes free via the amnesty market, signing such a scorer to a lower-priced deal might be more realistic than (Jason) Richardson or (Jamal) Crawford."
Not only would the Bulls be able to get Hamilton at a low price, they would also be getting the truest shooting guard out of the bunch. He is as consistent as they come, averaging over 14 points per game in each of his nine seasons with the Pistons.
If Detroit does let Hamilton go then the Bulls will likely be one of the teams bidding on the shooter.
Out of all the guys I have named, no one plays better defense than Afflalo. He does everything you want from a guy. He plays aggressive defense, shoots the three well and can even create his own shot.
Afflalo also has a very good basketball IQ and takes good shots, as he averaged just under 50 percent from the field last season. He would be an absolute perfect fit for the Bulls and has mentioned the team as a dream, which would be great for him.
However, the only problem is Afflalo is a restricted free agent, meaning Denver can match any offer that Afflalo is given. With the Chinese Basketball Association unlikely to let Wilson Chandler, J.R. Smith and Kenyon Martin leave, one’s got to think that Denver will not let Afflalo leave either.
Jason Richardson is only 30 years old, but still has a lot of miles on him through his 10 years in the NBA. He has always played on fast-paced offenses and has often been relied on to be a main scorer for his team.
However, if Richardson came to the Bulls he would be playing halfcourt basketball, and slowing down his game might just be what he needs. Richardson would only be asked to be the third scorer on the team, and he is someone who could easily put up 15 points a night.
His ability to shoot the three will also help the Bulls spread the ball around more.
With the new amnesty clause in place, the biggest name being discussed is Brandon Roy. It is pretty crazy to think how this new rule allows every team in the NBA the chance to land a star player like Roy.
With Roy probably out in Portland you better believe that a number of teams will be bidding on the three-time All-Star, and the Bulls should be one of them.
As everyone knows, Roy has battled through chronic knee injuries lately, but at age 27 he is still one of the premier athletes in the game. Roy seemed just fine in the playoffs last season, even almost leading Portland past the defending champion Dallas Mavericks.
Roy and the Bulls would be a perfect fit. He has never played with a talent like Derrick Rose and Rose has never played with someone with the caliber of Roy’s. They both would make each other better.
The Bulls need someone who can create his own shot, and that’s what Roy brings. While it is highly unlikely that the Bulls are the highest bidder for Roy, they still need to at least try and pursue the perennial All-Star.