Bulls player review: Rip Hamilton

Bulls player review: Rip Hamilton

With fans preparing for the upcoming NBA season, let's further analyze each Chicago Bull to gauge what kind of impact they could have as the team looks to reach the next level. You can also check out the player previews for Omer Asik, C.J. Watson, Ronnie Brewer, Kyle Korver, Taj Gibson, Brian Scalabrine, John Lucas III, Luol Deng, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah.

Player: Rip Hamilton (G)

Age: 33
Salary:
$5 million. His contract is guaranteed for two years and $10 million and the Bulls hold a team option of $5.15 million for a third season, according to the Chicago Tribune.

How did he perform last season?: Hamilton scored 14.1 points per game, his lowest average since his rookie campaign. He also missed 27 games and reportedly led a revolt against then-Pistons coach John Keuster. The Pistons sought to trade Hamilton for months, and were close to dealing him to the Cleveland Cavaliers last February, but the Cavs and the veteran shooting guard were not able to come to terms on a contract buyout. The two sides reached agreement Dec. 12 on a buyout that saved the Pistons $8 million over the next two seasons.

Areas for improvement: At this stage in Hamilton's career, he is an established two-guard who can knock down the mid-range jump shot. In addition, Hamilton, whom the Bulls officially signed Wednesday, is a willing defender and brings championship pedigree, having won an NBA title with the Pistons in 2004. Plenty of Bulls fans will give him a pass for the behavior he displayed in his final season in Detroit because of the losing situation and less-than-ideal environment. Hamilton has said all the right things during the first week with his new team, but how will he hold up -- both physically and mentally -- under the demanding coach Tom Thibodeau over the course of the condensed 66-game season?

Expectations for 2011-12 season: The Bulls do not need Hamilton to turn back the clock. Although, clearly he brings an offensive upgrade at two-guard, is a capable defender and has plenty of playoff experience and a chip on his shoulder from all the criticism directed toward him for last season's debacle in Detroit. Hamilton appears to be in great shape, and should have a bounce-back season for the title contending Bulls. On Tuesday, Hamilton dropped 13 points and six assists and impressed teammates and coaches in his Bulls debut. It's reasonable to expect Hamilton to score 13-15 points per game this season. Bulls point guard Derrick Rose is confident that the 6-foot-7 Hamilton will shoulder some of the scoring burden off him and be an impact piece as the team hopes to win a title.

"Great shooter, as we know," Rose told reporters after Tuesday's 93-85 victory over the Indiana Pacers in the preseason finale. "Offensively, he’s great. He takes a lot of pressure off me."

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  • Perhaps even more important - a guy who can and will take the big shot at the end of the game ... and not just a pick and pop guy either !!

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