Antawn Jamison signs with Clippers, Chicago Bulls options dwindling

Antawn Jamison signed with the Los Angelas Clippers. The league's former laughing stock has become a premier destination for free agents with perhaps the second best shot at winning a title this season behind the Miami Heat.

As for the Bulls, their options to add another big man dwindle further. Jamison wasn't great, but he looked like clearly the best player left. As much as Bulls fans will think back to Drew Gooden and cringe, he's now the player that I'd bring on board if I could. He doesn't play defense, but he rebounds, can score, and has some legit bulk to his frame.

Counting on Drew Gooden as a 2nd or 3rd big man is a lot different than counting on him as your 4th big man. Especially when the other alternative is Malcolm Thomas who really doesn't have legit big man size or length while lacking the skills to be anything else.

Cole Aldrich is still sitting out there as well, but this guy didn't show much in the D-League and needs plenty of seasoning if he's ever to have an NBA career. That's not exactly what the Bulls are aiming to do with their 4th big. They need a guy [if possible] whom they know can play.

On the upside, while talented, I'm not sure how much of a fit Jamison was for the Bulls. At this stage of his career is he really a better stretch four than Luol Deng? The Bulls have players with minutes to burn in their guard rotation if they want to expand the roster and play a 3/4 tweener at the four.

Adding Jamison would add the best quality 'big' man left, but he wouldn't give the Bulls a true big. It could be argued that Chicago is best off taking someone who can at least give them six hard fouls a night with size and simply playing small ball with the adequate depth they already have along the perimeter.

Even Dexter Pittman, whom they invited to camp, would fit better in that role even if he has almost no talent whatsoever. If nothing else, Malcolm Thomas is probably smiling somewhere as one of the few remaining options to stop him from making this team just landed elsewhere.

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  • I seriously doubt that Jamison was even considering signing with the Bulls. It was rumored that if he didn't get a contract offer from the Lakers or Clippers that he was considering signing with his home town team Charlotte. It seems that only second and third tier free agents sign with the Bulls which is the category that Jamison is in and he didn't want to come to Chicago, not a good look for the Bulls which is pretty sad.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Chicago probably didn't bend over backwards for Jamison, so we can't read much into him not coming to the Bulls. I'm elated that he went elsewhere because he plays zero defense. Unless Deng goes down, he would hardly play.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Ok i get that but when Korver was with the Bulls he was a defensive liability as well. Jamison is at least 6'7 or 6'8 and can stretch the floor as Korver did, so he could've helped cause the Bulls can use all of the offensive help they can get.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    He's not nearly the shooter that Korver is. Yes, he can stretch the floor, but only slightly. He adds nothing else. Korver was not good defensively, but he is an elite 3 pt shooter, perhaps the best in the league.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    My sense is that when the money is the same, whether it is the minimum or the maximum guys go to a city where they like living. Unfortunately, weather plays a huge role in their prefered livestyles, and Chicago while being one the great cities in the country obviously doesn't fit the bill on that criterion.

    It sucks, but I firmly believe that because of weather/lifestyle we will never be a first tier destination for free agents. There will always have to be some other unique mitigating circumstances for free agents to pick the Bulls.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Which is why Bulls management should be free agent friendly when it comes to trying sign big name guys cause i agree...Chicago isn't a free agent destination.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree that weather plays a big role in people deciding where they want to be, especially winter weather in the NBA since that's when the season takes place. Still, in terms of overall lifestyle, the big city of Chicago offers more than a lot of places, especially for the affluent.

  • Camby and now Jamison. Not that either would be a key guy for this team but just seems like more shunning from free agents something we have seen going back to the end of the Krause era.

    What is it? Most will probably say something like Reinsdorf is cheap although the Bulls seem to have had a top ten payroll for a while now. I really don't think it is spending especially when clips owner has a much greater rep for his stinginess. The pieces seem right to attract players. Top tier coach. Young superstar. Good roleplayers. But still can't get the players we want. What have you heard Doug?

  • In reply to Chad:

    I think the Bulls pushed harder for Camby, but the guy lives in Houston and signed there. So, the Bulls were probably #2 or #3 in that discussion behind Miami, too. Perhaps Chicago was Camby's 2nd favorite, who knows? Again, Jamison is above average on offense, but possibly worse than Boozer on D. So, we should be happy that he's not a Bull.

    I'd rather roll with Pittman because at least he has size and potential since he's young. He could provide some minutes in the regular season if it came down to it.

  • In reply to Granby:

    It is not possible to be worse than the BozoHole, so therefore Jameson is not.

    Additionally, we would not be looking to him for starters minutes or interior defense, simply offensive firepower or spark off the bench. I doubt that he and the Hole would ever be on the floor together.

    Jameson was the best remaining natural born scorer out there and since we don't really have anyone like that on our roster he would have been a solid addition.

  • In reply to Chad:

    I think "shunning" is a bit harsh, there's 29 other teams he also didn't sign with same with CAmby, there's also not much news into how hard we pursued Jamison.

    I don't really presently have much in the way of inside contacts with the league, so I don't know much that isn't reported outside in the press.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Yea, we are top 5 this season.

  • There are folks who think NBA players avoid the Bulls because of Reinsdorf but then how to you reconcile Jamison's decision? Say what you will about Reinsdorf but Don Sterling is hands down the worst owner in the NBA and possibly all of sports, plus he's a known racist. Jamison's move actually suggests players care little about ownership.

    I wouldn't draw any conclusions based on the wishes of a couple of washed-up veterans in Camby and Jamison.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    I agree.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Dunleavy shows that player will come here. Same with Belinelli last year.

  • Hey, don't sweat it. Jamison was not going to make a difference for the Bulls this year. The points he would bring on O he would give back on D.

    Malcomb Thomas deserves a shot more than these guys. And Pittman may fit well as a backup C. Nothing earthshaking was available - so these two are OK for what they are.

    Bulls need to play the new guys more anyway, so I like Doug's idea: " It could be argued that Chicago is best off taking someone who can at least give them six hard fouls a night with size and simply playing small ball with the adequate depth they already have along the perimeter." Do it!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Totally agree. Pittman gives them fouls and a different look should they face a true center in NJ or Indy. Jameson only adds depth for injuries.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Not excited about Pittman, he was pretty much exactly what Miami desperately needed and sucked so awfully he could never get on the court.

  • In reply to rustyw:

    Paragraph one sounds like you think that we should amnestitize the BozoHole immediately, except in his case the ratio is at least 2 or 3 to one, defense to offense.

  • I don't think its about the free agents avoiding Chicago, I think the Bulls and Sam Smith alluded to this before, they want a NON-Guaranteed deal for the 13th spot. i guess they learned their lesson from the Vladimir Radmanovic signing last year.......he sucked and they couldn't get rid of him or add a better player who was released or bought out. They want flexibility and I'm ok with that. Dexter Pittman has really worked on his body and is pretty strong......legit 6'11' with 7'6" wingspan. Can he run the floor and play D?, we'll just have to see in preaseason. He seems like a decent guy that gives back to his community and is not a locker room distraction. They could also bring back Malcolm Thomas later in the season. Nazr is our backup and we'll have to play small ball if injuries happen. Kind of like Ben Gordon, losing Asik will probably take us several years to get filled.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I'll take the 7'6" wingspan over Malcom Thomas and Jameson, thank you very much! A nice guy to have as your last bench position and #3 big. I think other teams would like to have Pittman, but he realizes that he can make the Bulls team if he works hard because the Bulls need size.

  • For the love of god - do not sign Drew Gooden. Shoots 43% in his last two seasons played, and misses most of last year shooting 32%. He's done.

    As for 'Twan'(ha,ha), I would have been shocked if Jamison would have signed with the Bulls. Most name FA's either current or former stars simply don't want to come here. As to the reason(s) why, if some people don't know by now.. really?! Past rep for cheapness, treating injured players and coaches shitty(choking coaches, Christmas Eve firings, publicly questioning Deng's injured leg) etc. and no offensive stars to play with for YEARS. Even Rose is somewhat of a question mark after an extended(beyond normal expectations) hiatus.

    Homer media and fan denials aside, Chicago with past cheap ass Reiny, Pax the choker and bug eyes control freak Forman. If I were a player there's no way I'd want to come to the Bulls unless they unloaded a big salary, had room to pay near Max as in star money, and a proven fully healthy and Top 5 league stud in D-Rose. With Pax and Forman staying the hell away from the team.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    'If I were a player' as in all-star caliber offensive player in his prime.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    This is a total homer perspective (I'm sure Reese agrees 200%), seeing a player signing with a team and interpreting it as "name FA's either current or former stars simply don't want to come here." Unless the Bulls made a hard push to get Jamison, then he didn't shun them, then there's no real reason to take this as some shunning of Chicago unless of course, you're a homer in which all things relate to Chicago.

    Next, "name FA's or former stars simply don't want to come here" is based upon what exactly? You need more than Lebron, Wade, Bosh and Howard. The threesome in Miami decided to play together in Miami, they shunned all the other teams, and Dwight Howard is a knucklehead who turned his back on the Lakers of all teams. But to a homer its "they shunned the Bulls [not 29 other teams]. No FA's want to come here".

    Furthermore, the magnification of flaws and minimization of successes is a provincial POV that ignores the rest of the NBA. For all the Bulls' flaws and mis-steps, they're still a first class organization when compared to others.

    You think players look at an organization's history? So players shun the Bulls because they fired a coach on Christmas Eve and haven't had great offense, but they'll accept the Clippers with a history of failure, bad coaching and a cheap, inept and racist owner?

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Well said.

  • Pittman was a top recruit coming out of HS and one of the reasons that Texas was ranked so highly a few years back. Texas self destructed that year, but the point is that he has talent and if he's in the right system he can get some floor time in a backup role. I'd feel great about having Naz and Pittman filling in for Noah when he misses time due to plantar faciitis and ankle sprains. They can hold the fort down against NJ, Indy and other teams with legit centers.

  • In reply to Granby:

    Skills aside, it is a sad state of affairs when Pitman is what passes for legitimate size at center. He is very likely 6'9" in socks and previously had a weight problem. It certainly doesn't hurt to give him a look in preseason, but I doubt that he is any part of a solution to what is now our #1 problem, frontcourt size and depth.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    We are talking about a 3rd string center - someone who we hope will NEVER see the court if guys stay healthy. How exactly are we supposed to sign a legit player for min salary when they know they may never play? At this point, given that there are only scraps available, I say you roll with Pittman and work with him to see if he can be serviceable. Either that, or go with Tyrus Thomas and see if one of those guys can mature and work hard.

  • In reply to Granby:

    I'd rather have a proven NBA veteran (like Drew Gooden) in that role so that if an emergency arises you know that he has NBA ability and can eat up NBA minutes(you know kind of like the BozoHole does.)

    It doesn't hurt to bring him to camp though.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Draft Combine Measurements
    Joakim Noah - Dexter Pittman - Greg Oden

    Barefoot Height 6' 10.5" - 6' 9.5" - 6' 11"
    Wingspan 7' 1.25" - 7' 6" - 7' 4.25"
    Standing Reach 8' 10.5" - 9' 3" - 9' 4"
    Body Fat 4.8% - 20.8% - 7.8%
    Weight 223 - 303 - 257

    Dexter Pittman has enough size with his wingspan and standing reach. Looks like weight/conditioning is his biggest issue. He's worth a look, imo. And as a non-guaranteed he's definitely worth a look. Let's face it, Bulls aren't paying anybody else guaranteed money this season.

  • In reply to Edward:

    Nice find. During a summer league game, they showed Pittman and said his weight was down to something like 270 or 280. He looked good. I think he has gotten the weight thing under control. I like that they are bringing him in. Let him play it out during the preseason and see if he's ready to play at this level. It's nothing to be excited about, but he's a good guy to have in camp.

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    What about Tyrus Thomas, Im sure Thibs could mold him into something.

  • In reply to Frederick Rathers:

    Tyrus doesn't want to be coached. Let's move on from him.

  • Interesting that not getting a guy for our 13th roster spot has drawn substantially more comments than the previous post on Taj Gibson, arguably our 6th man, and certainly our most important non starter due to our massive lack of frontcourt depth and size.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Interesting point!

  • What about Jason Collins? Seems to be a good fit for what we're looking for.

    It's true that Thibs and the Bulls would prefer to lay low but that's not happening this season with The Return. In fact, signing Collins would take a little attention off D Rose and provide a different storyline. Collins is a high character big who plays tough and may hit a shot in spot duty. He won't get bullied around the hoop and may come in handy against Hibbert if we see them in the playoffs. Have you seen the pics of Hibbert this offseason? He's huge. And working with Duncan again.

    If no other big is signed, I hope Thibs has been fine-tuning his version of small ball featuring our long, high energy athletes and improved shooting.

    Keep up the great work Doug, much appreciated!

  • In the championship years, the Bulls brought in many backups who seemed to play better for the Bulls than they did for other teams. For that matter, this is still happening - Watson, Nate, and Belli, for example. Maybe Pittman will do the same when needed. Malcomb Thomas will sign with the Bulls if they need him, but it looks like they are going to wait and see.

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