Richard Hamilton sent Bulls fans into an utter panic last night with his tweet indicating he had to decide between three teams in free agency
Got my list narrowed down to 3 teams. 17 hours until I clear waivers. Can't wait Yesssssirr.
Quite frankly, I would wager the suspense over this will be over in within hours of him clearing waivers, and it will be official. With preseason games starting in two days and the team having minimal practice time in a shortened season, the Bulls [and any other potential suitor] would want Hamilton in camp right away.
I've still heard this is a done deal, and I'd speculate that Rip just wants to add a little suspense and drama to his decision to gather a little extra attention. Not exactly "the decision", but everyone wants to feel wanted, and this is simply Richard Hamilton taking the time to feel wanted for a day.
Bare in mind, most FAs get to have that feeling for quite a bit longer, so don't hold it against him.
While the Bulls wait for Hamilton to sign with them. They potentially had the opportunity to pick up Rudy Fernandez for Keith Bogans. Dallas was looking to move Fernandez for a non guaranteed deal to free up some cap room. They ended up moving him for a trade exception.
Gathering Fernandez would have been a great move if the Bulls weren't certain whether Hamilton would sign with them or not, but it seems highly likely to me that they are certain. Ignoring the tweet for a moment, where else would Hamilton go at this point? He clearly wants to win, wants to play on a real team, and likely wants as big a role in that as possible.
Chicago is the only destination which offers him all three of those things. We're also a defensive minded team that plays similarly to the Pistons teams of his prime that were so good, so he'll fit right in attitude wise with this group.
With Hamilton in the fold, what could the Bulls do with Rudy Fernandez? Bare in mind that Fernandez has been below average since his first season which made all Bulls fans covet him. He's groused, constantly, about minutes and threatened to return to Spain if he can't have an increased role.
Taking a look at the Bulls seven perimeter players (Rose, Watson, Rip, Brewer, Deng, Korver, and Butler) Fernandez would likely only get minutes ahead of Butler initially, and Butler is likely slated for nearly zero minutes as it is right now [don't be surprised if the Bulls assign him to the D-League just so he can play since there's so little practice time and game time available for him to do anything with the Bulls].
How is Fernandez going to fare in that situation? He was a whiner in Portland with a much better situation, so the answer is not good. Also, given a choice Dallas probably shifts him to Denver because Denver might refuse to take Corey Brewer without Fernandez, and Denver isn't an immediate threat to Dallas's championship hopes while Chicago might be.
In the unlikely event that things do fall apart for the Bulls and Hamilton, Jamal Crawford looks ready to be scooped up for two years at the MLE. He's fielding similar offers from other teams that stink and would likely take our offer ahead of those on the table. Maybe Chicago has to go three years at the MLE to get it done, but Crawford is out there to be had.
Reggie Williams is also still available, but after the Bulls saw CJ Watson's stats decline after moving away from Golden State they may be wary. Williams would provide considerably more shooting at the two guard position but not a whole lot else. Still, you can never have enough shooting.
Hamilton should clear waivers around lunchtime for those in Chicago, I expect an announcement soon afterwards.