Examining The Free Agents On Chicago Bulls’ Roster

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With all of the talk centered around who the Chicago Bulls might sign this summer, it’s also important to remember that there’s a handful of free agents currently on the team that they might lose.

At the point guard position, Kirk Hinrich and D.J. Augustin did an adequate job filling in for the injured Derrick Rose for much of the season. Augustin essentially revitalized his career in Chicago and could be an attractive player to teams in search of a backup point guard.

Hinrich, on the other hand, was a calming veteran presence on the team throughout the year. He could elect to re-sign with the Bulls for the veteran minimum, but the same can’t be said for Augustin.

The Bulls would love to have Augustin return as the primary backup for Rose, but if the market is too aggressive for his services this summer, the Bulls could be looking elsewhere. As of right now, it’s very difficult to envision Augustin returning unless he took a much smaller offer to stay with the Bulls.

Looking at the shooting guard position, there really isn’t much to discuss outside of free agent Jimmer Fredette. Fredette came over to the Bulls in early March after being let go by the Sacramento Kings in a buyout. However, the three-month experiment didn’t work out in the end, and coach Tom Thibodeau never really inserted the three-year guard out of BYU into his rotation.

The Bulls could use Fredette’s shooting ability next season, but it’s more likely that both sides will move on this summer.

The power forward position is more complex in some regard. The Bulls’ leverage in free agency all starts with the potential amnesty of Carlos Boozer‘s $16 million contract. Boozer has undoubtedly played his last game as a member of the Bulls, and could virtually land anywhere this summer.

However, if the Bulls want any chance of signing Carmelo Anthony — or even trading for Kevin Love — Boozer would have to be amnestied or traded in order to clear cap room.

Finally, there’s the status of center Nazr Mohammed. Mohammed isn’t one of the most spectacular players on the Bulls roster given his age and his 16 years of NBA experience. Still, Mohammed has done well in limited minutes since signing with the Bulls in 2012. It wouldn’t be shocking to see the team sign Mohammed to a third one-year deal at the veteran minimum.

With so much uncertainty involving who the Bulls will sign this summer, it’s almost impossible to tell who will stay and who will go. But to break it down, while Hinrich and Mohammed were valuable in terms of veteran leadership, neither player serves much of a purpose or a need for the team moving forward. Augustin will be the team’s biggest target to retain, but could leave for a bigger contract and greener pastures.

However, everything simply rides on the amnesty or trade of Boozer. Once the Bulls acquire — or fail to acquire — Anthony or Love, the team will finally be able to fill out the rest of the roster.

Wally Jacobs is a Chicago Bulls writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @WJac1.

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  • tdh

    I am tired of hearing Love’s name in CHI. Love is the younger player, but he is under contract and requires a S&T with MIN which will REQUIRE Chicago sells on most of their young quality players like Butler and Gibson. Do a scenario of this trade and then figure out what CHI will have left as a roster then tell me it is better than this:

    My Suggested S&T deal is CHI sends Carlos Boozer + both of CHI’s two acquired draft picks in this draft (or only pick if they trade up) – this will be decided after the draft (unsigned) + the two 2nd round picks received in the Deng Trade to NY for S&T of Carmelo Anthony.

    Reasons:
    A) The 125% + $100k rule allows CHI to sign Anthony for up to $21M with Boozer’s contract alone.
    B) Keeping Mike Dunleavy is a solid backup to Butler and Carmelo. MDJ also did Chicago right by agreeing to come to town on a bargain contract to be on a contender, then Rose got hurt again. Sending him to the cellar in NY is not right and does not help Chicago in terms of signing free agents on bargain deals in the future.
    C) They can buyout Mirotic and finally bring him over due to staying over the cap using the MLE. Not possible if you go under cap.
    D) They also have the Bi-Annual and Vet Min Exceptions to fill in the few holes in the roster. They can consider DJ Augustin. $2.1M is double his min contract from last season, and he said he would like to return. Kirk may be willing to stay in Chicago for the Vet Min depending on other offers he gets. Playing on a contender in a system that has showcased his skills well would be a good move. He will take a pay cut from the $5M MLE he had on his last deal, but he will not likely get that anywhere on his next deal, definitely not on a contending team. Kirk would be smart move as insurance if Rose goes down for any reason, the 3rd string becomes 2nd team. Kirk can also get minutes in as SG behind Butler in some situations.
    E) Chicago has all their own future draft picks (did not sell all their picks for Carmelo).

    This roster for Chicago could be:

    1) Rose / DJ Augustin (Bi-Annual Exception) / Kirk (Maybe)
    2) Butler / Snell
    3) Carmelo / Dunleavy
    4) Gibson / Mirotic
    5) Noah / Smith