Quantcast 2009-2010 Chicago Bulls: Bulls Free Agency Update


After missing out on LeBron, Bulls continue journey back to NBA’s elite with a little bit of Jazz



This was supposed to be the year that the Chicago Bulls found their way back to NBA prominence and compete for the NBA championship. They had cleared nearly enough cap room to sign two maximum salary free agents: LeBron James and whoever he chose to team up with. They also flirted with high profile players such as Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh, in hopes of luring them to the Windy City if James decided to stay in Cleveland or run off to the bright lights of New York. That was their Plan A, as the Bulls took an “all-in” approach to the free agency season this year. Since their epic seven-game series against the then-defending champion Boston Celtics in 2009, the Bulls have parted ways either via trade or free agency to Ben Gordon, John Salmons, Tyrus Thomas and Kirk Hinrich. Losing Hinrich was the real gut-wrencher, as they traded him and their 17 th overall draft pick in this past years draft for 2006 second-round draft pick Vladimir Veremeenko, who failed to even be selected to the Bulls’ summer camp. It’s a risk that the Bulls felt they had to take to strike it big in this year’s free agent class. Owner Jerry Reinsdorf knew it was a gamble but still feels it was the necessary thing to do. “It was clear LeBron wasn’t going to come to Chicago by himself,” Reinsdorf said in an interview with the suburban Daily Herald. “ Somebody else had to come with him so we had to take that shot. It didn't work out, so now I feel bad that Kirk is gone, but I don't regret taking the shot.” But now with James “taking his talents” to South Beach to join Wade and Bosh with the Miami Heat, the Bulls have been forced to move on to their Plan B approach, which is suddenly looking more viable.


Ever since the Bulls were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers last year in six games, the Bulls’ biggest needs were clear: interior scoring and three-point shooting. So on July 7; one day before James announced his intentions on “The Decision” on ESPN, the Bulls inked former Utah Jazz power forward Carlos Boozer to a five-year contract estimated to be worth between $75-80 million. At the time of the signing, the Bulls had to have hoped the signing of Boozer would make the team even more attractive to James. But the reality became that the addition of Boozer has given the Bulls their first true low-post scorer since trading away Elton Brand way back on draft night of 2001. Boozer is a two-time NBA All-Star and averaged 19.5 ppg and 11.5 rpg last season. He has also been very proficient in the pick-and-roll throughout his career, which will serve him well with budding superstar point guard Derrick Rose. The Bulls then set out to fill their gaping hole at shooting guard and brought in former Jazz guard Kyle Korver, who was highly recommended by Boozer. Korver led the NBA in three-point field-goal percentage last season, shooting 53.6 percent from beyond the arc. Korver will give the Bulls a kick-out option to team with Rose and Boozer. With the Bulls seeing Korver as a three-point specialist off the bench, the need for a starting shooting guard became a priority. After the Orlando Magic matched a three-year offer for restricted free agent guard J.J. Redick, the Bulls again had a backup plan and you guessed it, again looked toward Utah. The Bulls have now agreed to terms with free agent swingman Ronnie Brewer, who is anticipated to fill the vacant starting shooting guard spot in the lineup. Brewer averaged 8.8 ppg last season with the Jazz after scoring 13.7 ppg during the 2008-09 season. The 6-7 Brewer is expected to provide the Bulls with a long, athletic defensive presence that will be especially valuable when the Bulls matchup with the Heat’s duo of James and Wade. Brewer also excels in creating steals and finishing on the break, which should work well with Rose’s ability to run the floor.


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With the newcomers Boozer, Korver and Brewer set to join a solid young core that includes Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and Taj Gibson, the Bulls at the very least look like a top four team in the Eastern Conference with a chance to compete with the elite powers of Miami, Boston and Orlando for conference supremacy.

Considering how things looked for Bulls fans a little more than a week ago, that hardly seems like a worst-case scenario.



By: Levi Convirs
Pro Basketball Fans Staff Writer

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