Chicago Bulls Should Take a Chance on Veteran Antawn Jamison
The Chicago Bulls currently have one veteran’s minimum contract left to offer a free agent this summer before rounding out their roster for the 2013-2014 NBA season. With the field of free agents very slim at this point, I believe that it would be in Chicago’s best interest to try to sign Antawn Jamison. Jamison is a 15-year NBA veteran who spent last year with the Los Angeles Lakers where he averaged 9.4 points and 4.8 rebounds per game.
Despite being 37 years-old and coming off of his worst season of his NBA career, I feel as though Jamison still has at least one year of solid production left in him and it would make sense for both him and the Bulls organization if he spent next season in Chicago. Like many veterans, Jamison is still chasing the opportunity to play for an NBA championship, something that he has yet to accomplish in his career. Although he is coming off of what was statistically his worst season as a pro, Jamison will still be entering this season with a career scoring average of 18.8 points per game, and scoring off of the bench is one of Chicago’s biggest weaknesses right now.
As of now, Chicago’s bench is comprised of Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, Mike Dunleavy, Marquis Teague, and rookies Tony Snell and Erik Murphy. The Bulls will likely begin the season playing eight deep, as Teague, Snell, and Murphy will have to work their way into Coach Tom Thibodeau‘s system. Therefore, Gibson, Hinrich, and Dunleavy will be the main pieces off of the bench for the Bulls as the season begins. Out of this group of three there is not a lot of offensive production as Dunleavy is the only true scorer while Gibson and Hinrich will be called upon for their defensive capabilities. Therefore, the Bulls could definitely use Jamison and his offensive production this upcoming season in Chicago.
The Bulls have a great opportunity to “buy low” with Antawn Jamison as I expect him to have a bounce back season in 2013-2014. Not only is he entering the season healthy, as he only missed six games all of last year, but I believe that his struggles were not a sign of aging but instead due to Mike D’Antoni’s offense. The offense that D’Antoni ran in Los Angeles last season was a mess that also resulted in Pau Gasol and Dwight Howard having drop-offs in their production. This leads me to believe that with Jamison in a new system he will once again be an offensive threat.
Not only does Jamison offer the Bulls what they are looking for, but Chicago can also provide Jamison with what he needs at this stage in his career: The chance to compete for a title and prove that he can still be a productive basketball player. If the Bulls do indeed reach out to Jamison and he is content with the veteran’s minimum contract that they will offer him then I believe that Chicago and Jamison will be a good match for one another. Jamison will provide the Bulls with another offensive threat off of the bench, and the Bulls will offer Jamison a realistic shot at an NBA championship, which is something he has gone his entire career without.