Assuming there will be a 2011-2012 NBA Season, the Chicago Bulls will most certainly be looking to bring in some veteran talent at the SG position. Options will exist through trade, and possibly through free agency depending upon the new CBA. The MLE (Mid Level Exception) is key to the Chicago Bulls being able to bring in a veteran through free agency. This CBA is so uncertain that no one knows if the MLE, a hard salary cap, or a flex cap will exist next season. For brevity sake, we will assume that the CBA will include an option like the MLE for teams at the salary cap like the Chicago Bulls.
Below are options through Free Agency and Trade that the Chicago Bulls will look at for shooting guards for next season.
Shannon Brown (Player Option)
Nick Young (Restricted)
Arron Afflalo (Restricted)
There are a couple of very intriguing names that could be available via free agency. First, Jamal Crawford would be a perfect fit coming off the bench and sharing minutes with Keith Bogans (if his player option is picked up) and Ronnie Brewer. Crawford is an excellent FT shooter, shooting 84.6% in his career and shoots 35% from 3pt range. Crawford is set for a possible big payday, and at 31 years of age he may be looking to cash in. However, Crawford may want to win – and his best option for playing time and winning might be to come back to Chicago. Assuming the MLE (Mid-Level Exception) is still in place in the new CBA, Jamal Crawford may be a viable option.
Jason Richardson is another great option at the 2 guard, assuming that he will be looking for a MLE as well. He is a career 37% 3 point shooter, however he is a fairly poor FT shooter at 71% for his career. Jason Richardson and Jamal Crawford are two options that would immediately improve the Bulls offense, and add another option for beyond the arch.
Unfortunately, Arron Afflalo has already been offered a contract for next season with the Denver Nuggets. Afflalo is a good defender, and can create his own shot. Arron Afflalo would complement Derrick Rose very nicely. The only other player on this list that I would consider would be Shannon Brown. Brown has a player option with the Los Angeles Lakers, and several sources have come out stating that it is likely Brown will test the Free Agency waters. Brown is explosive, can create his own shot, and has been improving his three point shooting steadily over the past few years.
My preference still lies with either Crawford or Richardson, unless options through trade exist…
The best option still remains Andre Iguodala, who can play along side both Luol Deng and Derrick Rose. Iguodala is a streaky shooter from deep, however, he can hit mid range jumpers and creates his own shot very well. I have watched Andre Iguodala play, but I can’t put into justice the type of player that Iguodala became last season as well as Brian over at Depressed Fan did:
- With a 3.35 Assist:Turnover ratio, Iguodala ranks fifth behind only Jose Calderon, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and DJ Augistin in 2010-2011.
- Iguodala ranks fourth among non-point guards in AST%, behind LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.*
- Iguodala ranks 37th overall, and 12th among non-power forwards/centers in DRB%.*
- There are a total of four NBA players who average 14+ points with a usage rate of 19% or lower: Joakim Noah, Danilo Gallinari, Nene Hilario, and Andre Iguodala.* Played at least 1,500 minutes.Elite defender, efficient playmaker,
plus-rebounder, offensively and defensively versatile, and top 30 NBA
player are all ways you could describe Andre Iguodala, the player. He’s
only a slightly above average scorer, but if he was an elite scorer he’d
be LeBron James. He never carries the team offensively, but he ensures
the opponent’s go-to scorer doesn’t either. He’s not a superstar, but
he’s a damn great player and it’s about time someone took notice.
Iguodala does make a lot of money, and a trade for him would put the Bulls well above the current salary cap. That doesn’t even begin to mention the complications it could cause with the new CBA. A trade for Iguodala is highly unlikely, however that does not keep us from dreaming.
The other strong candidate for trade is O.J. Mayo. It has been highly publicized that there have been “conversations” between the Memphis Grizzlies and the Chicago Bulls revolving around O.J. Mayo – Courtesy of Doug Thonus and Chicago Bulls Confidential. O.J. Mayo may be available, as Memphis is quickly running up against some salary issues with Marc Gasol a restricted free agent, and Shane Battier a free agent this off-season. The Grizzlies may again be looking to trade O.J. Mayo to cut salary and add depth. The emergence of Tony Allen may have made O.J. Mayo expendable.
Mayo is a career .378% 3pt shooter and an .828% free throw shooter. Mayo can shoot the ball, and create his own shot. He isn’t the most willing defender, but he has some length and athleticism which may allow for him to become an adequate defender. Mayo is a solid young player, and he could grow into something much more.
But, what the fuck do I know. Just don’t let it be Michael Redd…please.