2013 NBA Free Agency: Chicago Bulls' Nate Robinson as Good as Gone?

By Ryan Heckman
Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls fans have already scrolled past this article in the spirit of denial. Unfortunately, the probability of the following information being untrue is about equal to the probability of Kim Kardashian and Skip Bayless having a baby together.

Last season was a continuous roller coaster for the Bulls. Without their hometown hero Derrick Rose in the lineup, it was all about survival at first. Nobody gave them a chance to finish in the top half of the Eastern Conference, let alone make it past the first round of the playoffs.

Boy, were they wrong. The fact of the matter was, coach Tom Thibodeau wasn’t going to let that happen and neither was reserve point guard Nate Robinson.

It’s not often that an NBA franchise’s fortune is changed by that of the third point guard on their depth chart. For the Bulls last year, that is exactly what Robinson provided. Because of the injury to Rose, Robinson was given time to allow fill-in starter Kirk Hinrich some rest.

All Robinson did was propel the Bulls to several key victories throughout the year by his sometimes streaky – yet effective – shooting. Coming off the bench in crunch time, Robinson constantly provided the offensive lift Chicago needed at just the right time. His ability to pull up and knock down those cold-blooded three pointers sent the United Center into pandemonium on several occasions.

Sadly, for Chicago, Robinson is likely done in Chicago after his one year stint. After his incredible career year, there will be quite a few teams interested in him as a backup and he may even get a shot to start somewhere. The big question is, just how steep will his price be? We may not know the exact answer to that question, but it will undoubtedly be outside of the Bulls’ price range.

Chicago is pretty much locked up as far as salary is concerned. They will have a couple of one year deals expire this offseason but not enough money will be provided to bring Robinson back. It is going to be a fairly quiet summer for the Bulls filled with plenty of rehab for banged up players and quite possibly a few more one-year contracts to fill out the roster. As for the little man with a big shot, who knows where he is headed.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter @ryanmheckman  or add him to your network on Google.

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