Chicago Bulls Shooting Guard Options - Free Agency or Trade?

Chicago Bulls Shooting Guard Options - Free Agency or Trade?

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.


Free Agents
Jamal Crawford
Jason Richardson
Shannon Brown (Player Option)
Michael Redd
J.R. Smith
Anthony Parker
Tracy McGrady
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…

Thumbnail image for Andre-Iguodala.jpg

Andre Iguodala
Monta Ellis
JJ Reddick
Kevin Martin
Ben Gordon
O.J. Mayo
Courtney Lee

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:

  1. With a 3.35 Assist:Turnover ratio, Iguodala ranks fifth behind only Jose Calderon, Chris Paul, Jason Kidd, and DJ Augistin in 2010-2011.
  2. Iguodala ranks fourth among non-point guards in AST%, behind LeBron James, Joe Johnson, and Kobe Bryant.*
  3. Iguodala ranks 37th overall, and 12th among non-power forwards/centers in DRB%.*
  4. There are a total of four NBA players who average 14+ points with a usage rate of 19% or lower: Joakim NoahDanilo 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.

oj mayo.jpeg

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.




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  • I think the big name free agents will be to high priced and the I don't believe the Bulls will trade a key piece for a chance one another player. My belief is that they will go with an older vet in free agency (Battier is my pick) or someone that can be traded for expireing contracts.

  • With a new coach in Houston maybe the price tag on Lee comes down and you never know what Sacramento will do with all the shooters they have now. Maybe Salmons or Garcia become available.

  • One of Lee or Martin may become available, and they would provide some scoring spark. Depending on the cost, it may be worth spending extra in terms of players/picks to go out and get Mayo.

    Battier is a good option, but he can't create his own shot which is what the Bulls are in desperate need of.

    There have been some rumblings that Vince Carter may get bought out (his option/buy out has been pushed back until the 30th I believe) and if he was willing to come for cheap he may be a decent option also. There may be more casualties of the new CBA too.

  • Order of my want:


    1. Kevin Martin
    2. Andre Iguodola
    3. OJ Mayo
    4. Courtney Lee
    5. Ben Gordan (again..)

    Free Agents

    1. Jason Richardson
    2. Shannon Brown
    3. Anthony Parker
    4. Jamal Crawford
    5. J.R. Smith (Just can't see him as starter for the Bulls, but we would probably be our best 6th man scoring option available.)

    Iggy is our best option in any scenario, he has proved to be a efficient leader on the Sixer's team that lacked other scoring options (sound familiar..), plus in Thib's defensive scheme he provides the length and athleticism we need to help Rose, Deng, and the rest of the Bulls guards against the best scorers in the league. Finals all day if they can land Iggy and a little additional SCORING help.

  • In reply to ChiPride:

    I agree with your thoughts on Iguodala, however Anthony Parker over Jamal Crawford?!

    Crawford helps at both the 2G and PG positions, his value is much higher than Anthony Parker's. J.R. Smith has the ability to turn into a "cheaper" version of the Atlanta Hawks Jamal Crawford, I wouldn't mind taking a chance with him.

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