The Bulls called James, 36, up from the Erie BayHawks in January when Rose suffered a toe injury. They signed him to a 10-day contract on Tuesday and he will be in uniform when the Bulls play the Sacramento Kings at the United Center. Rose is out of Tuesday's game and is listed as day-to-day because of his back issues.
Erie is the New York Knicks' D-League affiliate and sources said that New York strongly considered replacing second-year sensation Jeremy Lin with James earlier this month before Lin erupted for 25 points in a win over New Jersey after never having scored more than 13 points in an NBA Game.
Signed last month when both Rose and C.J. Watson were injured, James appeared in three games in his first stint with the Bulls and averaged 4.0 points and 3.7 assists. James has career averages of 10.4 points and 3.6 assists in 10 NBA seasons with nine different teams. He averaged 20.3 points and 5.8 assists per game for Toronto in his best individual season in 2005-06.
James spent last season in China and Turkey before submitting his name into the D-League's player pool, hoping to convince NBA executives that he can still play at the highest level. He was the first player from the largest group of NBA veterans in D-League history to successfully play his way back to the NBA through a D-League stint; other vets to play in the league season include Rafer Alston, Ricky Davis, Damon Jones, Greg Ostertag and Antoine Walker.