Thursday, June 2, 2011
Bulls Review: Keith Bogans
By Nick Friedell
Over the next few weeks, we'll take a closer look at each player on the Bulls roster and see where they fit in for the future. Let's take a look at one of only two players who started every single game for the Bulls this season.
|Keith Bogans scored 15 points in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Indiana. |
2010-11 salary: $1.6 million
Season in review: Bogans wasn't expected to play much when he signed last summer, but once Ronnie Brewer's hamstring started to give him problems again in training camp, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau went with Bogans in the starting lineup and never looked back. The veteran guard only played about 15-20 minutes a game and rarely saw action late in games, but he became a lighting rod for criticism throughout the year, especially after the trade deadline, because the fan base wanted the Bulls to upgrade the shooting guard position. The bottom line is that Bogans played about the way the Bulls expected him to throughout the year. He was a reliable, respected presence in the locker room who played solid defense and sometimes hit open shots.
Season highlight: Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Indiana Pacers. Bogans scored 15 points, hitting five three pointers and giving the Bulls a huge boost as they closed out a tough Pacers team.
Season lowlight: From December 18-January 7, Bogans was just 6-for-25 from the field and struggled to find any kind of rhythm with his shot. It was around this point in the season when the calls to replace him in the lineup may have been loudest.
Final grades: Regular season -- C | Postseason -- C
Notes: Bogans is a solid guy and a player who can be a good addition to any team, but he isn't the type of player who can be the starting shooting guard for a team that wins a championship. In short, the Bulls must upgrade his position in the summer because they need somebody who can give Derrick Rose more relief on the perimeter. They need someone who can score 15 or 20 points on nights when Rose is cold and can't find his shot. Bogans simply isn't that guy. Yes, he shot 40 percent from the field, but he also missed plenty of wide open looks playing alongside Rose. The Bulls need someone more dynamic on the wing.
It doesn't frustrate me at all. I'm being talked about. I've been around long enough, people are going to say things.
-- Keith Bogans, on critics of him starting
What's next?: Bogans had successful arthroscopic surgery on his right knee after the year and should be fine if the Bulls decide to keep him -- but that's the question now: Will they keep him? The second year of his deal isn't guaranteed and the team has an option, and it must decide whether to pick it up in the next few weeks. If Bogans does come back, it should be as a reserve guard who can play spot minutes, or as an insurance policy if someone gets hurt. He was a favorite of Thibodeau's because of his reliability and popular with his teammates, but if the Bulls feel like they can make an upgrade after the lockout ends, they may decide not to pick up the option and see what happens.