Now that the season is over for the Chicago Bulls after the Miami Heat beat them in five games in the playoffs, General Manager Gar Forman has some decisions to make before they start back up again in October.
The Bulls have eight players under contract for next season- Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer, Jimmy Butler, Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich and Marcus Teague. Fans would love for Forman to show Boozer the door but it is very unlikely to happen.
Point guard Nate Robinson had a great season. He was brought in as insurance since Rose was out. He ended up ranking third on the team in scoring at 13.1 points per game and played a huge role in the playoffs. But with Hinrich and Teague coming back to serve as backups to Rose, Robinson will likely get a multi-year guaranteed contract offer by a few teams something that the Bulls cannot afford.
Shooting guard Richard Hamilton was hurt once again this past season which opened the door for G/F Butler to start in his place. Butler had such a great year that he now deserves to start alongside Rose in the backcourt. If that is the case, then what do the Bulls do with Hamilton? Well they can pick up his option for five million or buy him out for one million which is expected the Bulls will do if he is not included in some sort of deal on draft night next month. He was worth the risk when they signed him because when healthy, he is one of the best shooting guards in the NBA. He showed this when he was healthy with the Bulls, but with being injured the last few years, his days as a starter might be over.
Shooting guard Marco Belinelli started the year on the bench and struggled to find his shot, but when Hamilton got hurt, he was asked to start and he flourished. Known as a sharp shooter before coming to the Bulls, he not only continued that but his defense improved playing under Coach Tom Thibodeau. The Bulls want him back to be the backup to Butler, which is another reason why Hamilton might not be back. But like Robinson, Has Belinelli played so well that he will get offers for a bigger contract from other teams and the Bulls won’t be able to match either? Stay tuned.
Center Nazr Mohammed showed he had plenty left in the tank even though he is 38 years old. He did not play a lot in the early going but when Noah was out with plantar fasciitis, he was asked to start and he played well. Sam Smith, writer for ChicagoBulls.com advises the Bulls also want him back, not only for his play, but he was a positive influence in the locker room especially for younger players such as Teague, and Butler. But if he were to come back, he is likely to be a third center because the Bulls are hoping to get a younger backup to Noah like Omer Asik was before he moved onto the Houston Rockets.
According to Sam Smith, both forward Vladimir Radmanovic and shooting guard Daequan Cook will not likely be back next year and who knows if they’ll be in the NBA next season at all, since they both struggled in the few minutes they played but who knows for sure. It appears the Bulls might have to find replacements for them too.
Heading into the off-season last year, the Bulls faced questions regarding their roster and they decided not to bring back the likes of Asik, sharpshooter Kyle Korver, swingman Ronnie Brewer, guards C.J. Watson, and James Lucas lll. Fans were angry too, but Forman did a nice job in replacing them, so Bulls fans need not to worry.