Rip Hamilton: Best Bulls Shooting Guard Since MJ

By Tony Piraro

Richard Hamilton has signed with the Chicago Bulls, as a collective sigh has been released from the city of broad shoulders. Rip has automatically become the No. 1 overall shooting guard to don a Bulls uniform since Michael Jordan retired after the 1998 season.

According to ESPN, “Terms of the deal were not announced, although the Chicago Tribune reported Hamilton will sign a two-year deal for $10 million, and the third year is a team option with partial guarantees on $5,150,000.”

I don’t care about Ben Gordon, Jalen Rose or Ron Mercer…possibly the best three shooting guards to play the 2-guard position for the Chicago Bulls since the late 1990’s. I am only concerned with Rip Hamilton right now. Something Rip does, that the three names mentioned above have never been accused of doing, is playing defense. Hamilton is a former NBA Champion and NCAA Champion at UConn, but has been forgotten about after years of misery in the motor city.

Nobody will be forgetting about Hamilton as a member of the Chicago Bulls. The shooting guard will take over in the Chicago starting line-up for last years shooting guard Keith Bogans….pause for shock and laughter. Yes, the team that lost to the Heat in the Eastern Conference Finals last season had Keith Bogans starting at guard for them. I’d say Hamilton is a considerable leap at the position.

“He’ll have to answer all of (the questions) right now,” Derrick Rose said Wednesday. “He’s someone Chicago’s been asking for, a two. I guess, a legit two. He’s won a championship and his resume speak for itself.”

Rose went on to add, “You can put him in any situation. Floppy, isolation, he posts up. Being that (skinny), he’s got a nice post-up game,” said Rose. “He knows how to get fouled and with that weapon, I think that will make the game easier on the whole team.”

Hamilton averaged 14 points per game last season with Detroit. It was his lowest average total points per game in a season since his rookie year in the NBA with the Washington Wizzards. However, last years Detroit team quit on their coach and city with a bunch of mismanaged talent. Chicago’s head coach Tom Thibedeau will not allow the same to happen to the 2011 Chicago Bulls.

There will be no complacency in the windy city, I can guarantee you that with Derrick Rose around. This may not be the most publicized move of the NBA off-season, but it will be a move that could help Chicago get over the hump that is LeBron James this season. Hamilton is a proven winner and a veteran presence which was desperately needed with the current Chicago Bulls team.

Rip Hamilton’s press conference to the Chicago media will take place Thursday afternoon.

Follow Tony Piraro on Twitter @TonyPiraro

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