Chicago Bulls Rumors: Why Caron Butler Must Be Top Free-Agent Target for Chicago

Steven Elonich@@TheMainSteventCorrespondent IDecember 6, 2011

DALLAS - APRIL 27:  Forward Caron Butler #4 of the Dallas Mavericks reacts during play against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Five of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at American Airlines Center on April 27, 2010 in Dallas, Texas. 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 Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

As we all have repeatedly stated over the past offseason, Derrick Rose needs help scoring, as he cannot carry the Chicago Bulls to a championship himself, or at least we assume that. There are many options as to who that person could be and how they could be obtained. Who is today's option?

None other than veteran Caron Butler.

Butler, 31, most recently played with the Dallas Mavericks, but was limited to only 29 games after rupturing his tendon on New Year's Day of 2011. There are a few questions circulating on how healthy Butler will be this upcoming season and if it is worth the risk for the Bulls.

I see this in a positive light for Chicago. They can acquire a player who has averaged nearly 17 points a game thus far in his career for much cheaper than the asking price would have been had Butler played in 70 or more games last season.

The 6'7" small forward made approximately $10 million last season, but should drop some as he is coming of age and off the previously mentioned injury. Plus, playing with a contender like the Bulls, Butler may take a small pay cut to fit in the salary, as the Bulls will be low in available funds after Derrick Rose's expected contract.

Many Chicago fans want a big three-point threat, which Butler doesn't necessarily bring to the table, as he is a 32 percent all-time shooter from behind the arc. But what he does do is create his own shot, which would take an immense amount of pressure off reigning MVP, Derrick Rose.

Defense is important in the windy city as well, and Butler brings that. He has averaged nearly two steals per game for his career, along with six rebounds. Unfortunately, he is a lifetime small forward, but could potentially be converted into a shooting guard to fill the void left by the defensive-minded and offensively limited Keith Bogans.

A move should be made soon as no team has much time to prepare even without signing free agents—the season opener against the Lakers on Christmas day is within three weeks.