Chicago Bulls Shooting Guard Prospects: Richard Hamilton Versus Jason Richardson

Ernest Shepard@@ernestshepardAnalyst IIIDecember 10, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - NOVEMBER 3:  Richard Hamilton #32 of the Detroit Pistons looks to pass over Jason Richardson #23 of the Charlotte Bobcats during the game on November 3, 2008 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina.  The Pistons won 101-83.  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 Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The NBA season is slated to start on Christmas Day where the Chicago Bulls are hoping to unwrap a brand new shooting guard to their starting lineup.

All during the lockout, the basketball talks in Chicago have completely centered around who looks good playing alongside Derrick Rose

The three-headed monster of Ronnie Brewer, Keith Bogans and Kyle Korver were underwhelming in the playoffs last season.  None of them stood out enough during the season to merit a look at the starting shooting guard spot.

But never fear, Chicago Bulls fans, I present to you two players that would help get the Bulls closer to the NBA Finals.

Richard "Rip" Hamilton and Jason Richardson.

Richard Hamilton

He has great length at 6'7" and is a great mid-range shooter.  He has a championship ring and understands the concept of team defense. 

Hamilton isn't a great individual defender, but he makes up for it with veteran smarts.  He knows where to be and how soon the ball will get there. 

The biggest knock is his age.  At 33, Hamilton's best years are over, but if he can still put up 16 points a game, the Bulls would be in a better position to make a title run. 

Lastly, his pick-and-pop ability would thrive in a drive-and-kick offense that Rose runs to perfection.  

But is he a better option than...

Jason Richardson

"J-Rich" was one of the many players wrongfully dubbed as the "air apparent."  While he never lived up to that hype, Richardson has had a productive career thus far. 

He's big and he has developed a reliable three-point shooter connecting on just under 40 percent behind the arc.  He has a good post-up game for a shooting guard.  His ball-handling abilities are deteriorating a bit, but he can still create his own shot, which is something that Hamilton cannot do.  

Richardson's weakness is the answer to this question. 

Has Richardson ever been a true difference-maker given the salary that he may demand?

If it were me making the choice between Hamilton and Richardson, I am choosing...

Both of them.  Hamilton might be had with the veteran's minimum since the Detroit Pistons are still responsible to paying the $12.5 million remaining from the last year of his deal.  The Bulls can then offer their full mid-level exception to sign Richardson. 

And that would become a huge splash.