The official press release:
Chicago Bulls announced today the team has signed free agent
guard/forward Rasual (Rah-SUE-uhl) Butler. In accordance with team
policy, terms of the contract were not announced.
Butler (6-7, 215) is currently in his ninth year in the NBA. Drafted by the Miami Heat with the 53rd
pick in the 2002 NBA Draft, Butler has played for Heat, the New
Orleans/Oklahoma City Hornets and the Los Angeles Clippers. He appeared
in 41 games (two starts) this year with the Clippers, and averaged 5.0
ppg, 1.9 rpg and 0.7 apg in 18.1 mpg.
eight-plus seasons in the NBA, he has played in 598 regular season
games (249 starts) and averaged 8.6 ppg, 2.6 rpg and 0.9 apg in 24.1
mpg, and shot .401 from the field, .361 from behind the arc and .751
from the line. The 31-year old Butler has also made three trips (27
games, six starts) to the NBA playoffs, where he has averaged 4.8 ppg,
1.6 rpg, 14.7 mpg, .407 field goal shooting, .414 from downtown and .833
from the free throw line.
Chicago's roster now stands at 13 players.
However, KC Johnson added this:
Coach Tom Thibodeau has yet to comment on Butler; however, general
manager Gar Forman said publicly last week that any additions to the
roster would be for insurance.
If Butler is for insurance then I like the move. Why not? Gives you another guy who could fill some minutes if Deng, Brewer, Korver, or Bogans go down. I don't think it makes a world of difference, but you're only a freack moment away from desperately needing more depth in this league.
So, in general, I'm happy with the signing for that reason.
However, I don't expect the Bulls to sign two players, nor do I want them to sign two players. I'd rather have them keep the cap room open for this summer, so that they can take a shot at O.J. Mayo on draft day.
Right now, 3 #1s and Keith Bogans non guaranteed contract looks like a pretty sweet trade for Mayo if you're Memphis and decide to unload him. They basically get a small trade exception, take on no salary and get three picks for their trouble.
So given that I only want to sign one player, I'm a bit disappointed that the player isn't Kaleena Azubuike, because I think, if healthy, he might actually be the best SG on the team. Granted, he basically hasn't played for a year and a half, so who knows how healthy he could really be, but he said he could have played for the Knicks if they wanted him to.
I would have preferred to take the chance or at least bring him in for a physical and find out.
Now maybe the bulls will make both moves and try to sign Azubuike too, but do we really need five SGs on the roster? It seems silly to hedge your bets twice with guys who won't play and hurt your leverage for this summer at the same time.
As such, overall, I'm a bit luke warm on the whole deal. It's not a terrible move by any stretch, but I probably would have gone in another direction. Odds are, the difference will be irrelevant either way.