Bulls Rumors: Top Wing Players Linked to Chicago

Kelly ScalettaFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2011

PHOENIX - DECEMBER 19:  Caron Butler #3 of the Washington Wizards lays up a shot over Amar'e Stoudemire #1 of the Phoenix Suns during the NBA game at US Airways Center on December 19, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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Everyone, their mother and their cousin knew that the Bulls top priority was to land a shooting guard this offseason. It seems like just about every wing that is a free agent wants to play for the Bulls.

Here is a quick run down of players or their agents who have actually had contact with the Bulls. This is not a speculative list, so there may be some names not on it.

If there is a name missing, it's probably because I couldn't find a source to say there was an actual, real-life communication between the player and his camp or the Bulls. 

There are some very intriguing names in the offing, though. 

Caron Butler is a name that I really liked for the spot, but thought it completely unrealistic. However, he is said to have the Bulls at the top of his list and he worked out for the team today.

KC Johnson tweeted in regards to this workout, "Caron Butler has been working out in Chicago. Source close to him said he said this AM, 'I hope I don't have to leave.'"

Caron Butler in a Bulls uniform would be an outstanding fit. He shot .431 from the three last year, and was significantly improved defensively, giving up an opponent PER of just 10.3. While he has traditionally played the small forward, his shooting and ball-handling are sufficient that he could play the 2 and did play some with the Mavericks. 

Adrian Wojnarowski is reporting that Butler is most attracted to the Bulls because of the chance to play with Derrick Rose (notes) and compete for a title, but he would have to take significantly less money to play in Chicago.

Judging by the comments he made to his friends, he's willing to do that. Put Butler in the camp of players who will take less for a chance at a ring. 

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 28: Nick Young #1 of the Washington Wizards shoots over Ronnie Brewer #11 of the Chicago Bulls at the Verizon Center in Washington on February 28, 2011 in Washington, DC. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that,
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Wojnarowski also reports that Nick Young, the breakout shooting guard for the Wizards last year, is on the Bulls radar:

One of the most explosive restricted free agents, Washington Wizards guard Nick Young is intriguing to several teams, but most wonder: Will the Wizards simply match any offer for him?

Young can score, and the Chicago Bulls can appreciate the 30 and 38 points he had in two games against the Miami Heat a season ago. The Bulls are desperate for a scoring guard, and they have expressed interest in Young, along with Denver and New Orleans, front office sources said.

Young hasn’t been much beyond a scorer in the NBA, and privately believes the chance to play for coach Tom Thibodeau could round out his game. Still, Chicago doesn’t have the cap space to make him an offer outside of Washington’s willingness to match the deal. The Bulls could find a way to be creative, however, but they’ll keep talking to several shooting guards and explore trades.

A tandem of Nick Young and Derrick Rose in the backcourt together would be—whats the word?—Explosive? Unfair? Mean? 

One other name Wojnarowski brings up is Tracy McGrady, who would still like to play for the Bulls.

There have also been reports that the Bulls have reached out to former Bull Jamal Crawford, who has more than a few suitors. Alex Kennedy of Hoopsworld reports:

A number of teams made calls to Crawford’s camp on Wednesday including the New Jersey Nets, New Orleans Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers, according to sources close to the situation.

Personally, I'm not that excited about Crawford. He's not a great defender and his scoring took a four-point dip last year down 14.2 ppg and 16.9 per 36 minutes. While that would be much better than what Keith Bogans provided, I don't think it's what we could get elsewhere. 

I can't find anything as to whether that interest is mutual, but with so many teams looking at him, you figure he's gong to get a better offer. One thing noteworthy is Miami is talking to him. Does this mean that the reports they are going to amnesty Mike MIller are true?

Grant Hill, Shane Battier and Josh Howard are all players mentioned by KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune whom the Bulls have reached out to. Johnson also mentions Keith Bogans as a player the Bulls have talked to about coming back (though hopefully not as the starter!).

These players might be obtainable for the vets minimum. 

Another name "on the radar" according to Gery Woelfel is Michael Redd, the former star shooting guard of the Milwaukee Bucks. 

Redd, an unrestricted free agent, is a cinch to join another team when the signing period begins Dec. 9. Redd, who has had two major knee surgeries in recent years, is drawing keen interest from a slew of teams, including some NBA-title contenders.

According to some league officials, Chicago, Boston, New York and Miami all have Redd on their radar.

Redd would be a player whom the Bulls would not be likely to extend more than the veteran's minimum to. 

It appears from what they are doing and who they are talking to the Bulls plan on adding not one, but two wings, one with the MLE and one with the veteran's minimum. 

Of all the names on this list, if the Bulls could add Caron Butler to play the shooting guard and T-Mac to back up Luol Deng, that would be most ideal. The Bulls could use another player who can generate offense with their second team and Deng could use to play a few less minutes than he did last year.