One team that really hasn’t been blowing up the NBA Rumors board is the Chicago Bulls. They have stayed out of the free-agent circus for the most part, but news came today that they are looking to clear even more money off the books. The Chicago Bulls are rumored to be looking for a team that will acquire shooting guard Richard Hamilton. He is set to make $5 million this season per the contract he signed with the Bulls before last season. His contract has a third year, team option, which can be bought out for $1 million. “Rip” averaged 11.6 points per game and 3.0 assists last season for the Chicago Bulls, but had a nagging shoulder injury that lingered all season. He missed more than half the season, and many will question if Rip can even sustain a grueling, 82 game NBA season.
The Bulls are clearly having a fire sale to clear up more money. C.J. Watson has gone to the Brooklyn Nets, Kyle Korver to the Atlanta Hawks, and Ronnie Brewer has been let go to make way for second-year player, Jimmy Butler. This looks like the Bulls front office is trying to either clear up space to sign Omer Asik, who has a pending $25 million offer with the Houston Rockets, or to sign a free agent such as O.J. Mayo or Courtney Lee.
Finding a team to take on Hamilton’s contract will be tough, nobody wants to pay a player $5 million to only play half the season. However, it could be possible that a contending team will take on the contract based on Rip’s play in the playoffs. In 126 career playoff games, Hamilton has averaged 20.2 points per game, and 3.7 assists per game.
Before free agency opened the Bulls front office said they would make “basketball decisions,” not financial ones for their team. Clearly that isn’t the case, and it looks like they are trying anything, and everything in their power to avoid the almighty luxury tax. Even if that means dismantling the NBA’s best regular season team for the past two years, and arguably the NBA’s best bench squad, aka the “bench mob.”
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