I have written about the Chicago Bulls need for a free agent a few times, but none have been as prominent as this. I know I have Gilbert Arenas as the headline for a free-agent but i’m not saying that Chicago needs to get him per se. What I am saying is that they need to get SOMEONE.
The Bulls are riddled with injuries from Richard Hamilton to Kirk Hinrich and obviously Derrick Rose. And with these three front court players out teamed up with coach Tom Thibodeau’s refusal to play center Nazr Mohammed or forward Vladimir Radmanovic or guard Marquis Teague it begs the question of whether the current rotation can hold up for a long period of games.
In the absence of three guards the Bulls have shown growth, Marco Belinelli and Jimmy Butler are playing well and contributing offensively but how long can they keep that up? For that matter how long can the current rotation of players keep it up? The starting line-up is led by Joakim Noah and Luol Deng in minutes and they usually don’t have a reliable back-up. With all of this in mind why would Chicago not hot the free-agency market?
I have looked at the current list of free agents and while none of the names jump out as heavy offensive hitters there are names that the Bulls could use to at least rest their starters with. They need a center who can effectively rest Noah and they need a go-to versatile forward that can rest Deng, Belinelli or Carlos Boozer. The Bulls don’t seem interested in doing that. They would rather stick with the current roster and hope all goes well and I get that but what if something else happens to this already-injury prone team? What if a big piece to their team goes down like Noah or Deng? What happens then? It will be moments like that that they will wish they invested in a player like Arenas or Josh Howard or someone who could substitute in and serve as an effective replacement.
I loved the bench mob of 2011 and the reason being that they simply had depth. If there were an award for bench of the year the Bulls second unit would win it. The depth of that unit allowed any player to be substituted out at any moment without any repercussions or problems. Now, the second unit is composed of veteran players past their prime, rookies who don’t have enough experience to play entire games, or Taj Gibson and even he seems to be underachieving this season.
The season is still relatively young and it is not to late for the Bulls to sign a free-agent and with their starters logging such significant minutes night-in and night-out I can only hope the Bulls take on an extra player as an insurance policy if nothing more. Yes it will cost them money but it makes sense to sign one now as opposed to scrambling for one if another player goes down with an injury.