2013 NBA Free Agency: 20 Cheap Free Agents That Would Fit With the Chicago Bulls
2013 NBA Free Agency: 20 Free Agents the Chicago Bulls Could Afford
Don't stop reading, yet. I know, I know. Ronny Turiaf may scare you at first. But there is a method to my madness! I promise you that.
This offseason, the Chicago Bulls have been put in a tough spot, financially. With much of their money tied up in current contracts, they will likely have to fill out the rest of their roster with inexpensive contracts just as they did last summer.
The good news is that this summer Chicago could reel in a couple of guys that would be large improvements over the likes of DeQuan Cook, Nazr Mohammed, Rip Hamilton and Vladimir Radmonovic. With some free agents still available last year by mid-season, the Bulls looked as if they had chosen some of the worst possible options in filing out their bench.
With Derrick Rose at full health now heading into next year, Chicago is in prime position to make a deep playoff run. Hopefully big man Joakim Noah can get his plantar fasciitis under control and Luol Deng's torn wrist ligament won't be an issue.
A healthy roster in Chicago means one of the best teams in the entire NBA, defensively speaking. Offensively, the Bulls need a bit of help. Aside from Rose, it will be tough for anybody to create their own offense. They will likely need another wing or two in the offseason.
It is tough to predict where the Bulls will go in the Draft, but that should make things a bit clearer in regards to their free agency plans once it is over with. In any event, I would see the Bulls going after at least another big and hopefully a wing via free agency.
The issue, again, is that they Bulls will need to grab themselves cheap contracts. With that said, here are 20 guys Chicago could afford this summer that may be a possibility.
20. Nate Robinson
First of all, for this to happen the Bulls will have to try and move Kirk Hinrich. Nate Robinson has been offered the minimum, but likely won't return as his demand could be higher this summer. Hinrich's contract is an expiring deal so it wouldn't be too difficult to do so, but Robinson would definitely be a great option for Chicago. If they could bring him back, offense would be that much better overall.
19. Leandro Barbosa
Leandro Barbosa is a guy who could come in and play a bit of both guards, as he is more of a scorer overall. Coming off a season where he ended up on the bench due to injury, Barbosa likely won't command too high of a salary and could come in at the minimum. The Bulls definitely need another scorer, and without too much money Barbosa could be a viable option.
18. Mickael Pietrus
The Bulls definitely need a scorer, and at this point Mickael Pietrus isn't what he used to be. Pietrus could hit a couple of corner threes typically on command back when he was with the Orlando Magic, and now he is more of a defensive player. Not to say the Bulls wouldn't love to have his defense, but he wouldn't be counted on in the offensive aspect very much. Pietrus is cheap and a tenured veteran who would be better than Vladimir Radmonovic was last season, that's for sure.
17. Andrew Goudelock
Andrew Goudelock hasn't truly had a chance to play significant minutes yet in his NBA career and will be a part of the Chicago Bulls summer league team this offseason. If he can prove he is a scoring option, don't count him out of Chicago's plans. Like I've said, they need another option offensively and Goudelock not only would come cheap but he is young and coachable.
16. Antawn Jamison
I'm not sure how I would feel about Antawn Jamison in a Bulls uniform. I guess what I can say is that he's a great guy to have in the locker room and at his age he still brings the intensity. He's not nearly the scorer he was, but can still knock down a couple of open looks which would be in his future playing with a guy like Derrick Rose. Jamison would likely come in at the minimum and would be a great guy to have as more of a reserve type role.
15. D.J. White
The 26 year-old D.J. White is a power forward that has shown flashes of being a solid role player in his past. I believe if given the shot on the Bulls, head coach Tom Thibodeau could make him into that guy. In the limited minutes he's received over the length of his career, White has been a lot more efficient than one may think. Last season with the Boston Celtics, his PER was 14.76 while only playing about seven to eight minutes per game. That's not bad at all, and the Bulls could work with that.
14. DeJuan Blair
To this point, DeJuan Blair hasn't been able to take the potential he's had and bring it to the level he's capable of. He's never going to be an All Star power forward, but what he can be is a great rotation player off the bench who brings tons of energy. On the Bulls, and again to coach Thibodeau's credit, he would turn into exactly that. He's not terrible on either side of the ball and overall is a younger guy that can contribute.
13. Malcom Thomas
The Bulls have been high on Malcom Thomas since last year when he stood out in the summer league and during the regular season signed him as a reserve. He didn't get much run, but with a roster spot open at this point he may surprise some people. He's a young big man with a very athletic frame that can do some damage on the defensive end. He is a Thibodeau-type player and would be a fantastic addition to the team.
12. Corey Maggette
At his age, Corey Maggette is still a fairly decent scorer off the bench. Of course, last season was pretty bad in terms of shooting percentage, but I think he would be a better option than both Radmonovic and DeQuan Cook were last year. He's more experienced than a lot of guys available right now, and in a limited role and a cheap contract would be a great option for the Bulls.
11. Marquis Daniels
Marquis Daniels is a tough guy to figure out. Some nights he will score in double figures and grab a few rebounds, dish out a few assists and leave you thinking, 'Wow, where did that come from?' Other nights, he's non-existent and inconsistent. I believe on the Bulls he could develop into more of a consistent role player in limited minutes, and being in the league a while now that is the perfect role for him.
10. Ronnie Brewer
Hardly used with the Oklahoma City Thunder and New York Knicks, I am sure Ronnie Brewer would welcome an opportunity for more playing time, especially where he contributed heavily as a part of the 'bench mob' two years ago. The Bulls would gladly allow Brewer to give them his defensive efforts once again, I'm sure. He was and still can be a great defender and a high energy player -- perfect for Chicago.
9. Matt Barnes
Matt Barnes isn't a very likable guy around the NBA. Whether your impression of him is a dirty player or a washed up veteran, that's for you to decide. The fact of the matter is, Barnes is another gritty guy that Tom Thibodeau could use in his system for a few minutes every game. His defensive presence and physical play would fit in just fine.
8. Mickael Gelabale
I'm afraid this guy won't get much attention this offseason, which is a shame. Mickael Gelabale was signed by the Minnesota Timberwolves after not playing in the league for nearly three years, and came in on limited minutes at first. Because of injuries, he was able to give the Wolves solid minutes and played very efficiently. His confidence grew over time and eventually he began to get his shot in a rhythm and became an underrated part of Minnesota's offense. He would come extremely cheap and, under Thibodeau, could develop into a great role player.
7. Kenyon Martin
Will Kenyon Martin want to sign with anyone else other than the New York Knicks this offseason? Who knows. His injuries were a bit of a concern for New York but when he was on the floor he was a solid influence defensively and gave the Knicks another rebounder. Martin's physical style and energy would be welcomed in Chicago.
6. Chris Anderson
Was there any more of a mid-season slam dunk than the signing of Chris Anderson by the Miami Heat? One day he doesn't have a team, the next day he is an integral part of Miami's bench and a huge reason they are having success in the playoffs. The Heat will more than likely try and bring him back, but the Bulls could intrigue him as well with a chance to play with Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson.
5. Chase Budinger
Chase Budinger is an interesting prospect in free agency. His 2012 season was almost all spent on the bench because of an injury, but when he was finally healthy he showed he can still knock down his open shots. The Bulls could use a shooter in the worst way, and Budinger would absolutely fill that need -- at little cost, too.
4. Tracy McGrady
There have been so many rumors over the past year or so regarding Tracy McGrady coming to Chicago. Why not put them to rest and give him a shot? The worst that could happen is he winds up taking the role of DeQuan Cook, only coming in during blowouts. If he can still play at a decent level and can stay in shape, he'd be worth a low-cost deal.
3. Ronny Turiaf
You either like Ronny Turiaf or you can't stand him. He's just that type of guy -- which is exactly why the Bulls could grab him. Many have the same attitude towards Joakim Noah. He annoys the living crap out of you if you're not a Bulls fan, but as a Chicago sports lover you have to like him. Both Turiaf and Noah are high energy guys that play gritty, physical ball. Turiaf, again like the rest of these guys, could come real cheap and would have tons of upside in Chicago's system.
2. Roger Mason Jr.
The Bulls could very well be looking for one-year contracts this summer in hopes of maxing out their financial situation next summer. Roger Mason Jr. would definitely be simply a bandaid, but could contribute nonetheless. He can still shoot the ball outside at a decent percentage and in limited minutes under Thibodeau, would have no choice but to play defense. A low-risk option for Chicago, Mason Jr. could pan out well.
1. Marco Belinelli
Last but certainly not least, Marco Belinelli may be atop their free agent wish list. Last season Belinelli played far superior to what they had envisioned. He was the sole reason for a handful of wins, finding a way beyond all doubts to put the ball in the basket at the buzzer. Belinelli is a scorer, first. This is exactly why he must be brought back. The Bulls need points, and Belinelli will give you that.