Wednesday, July 11, 2012
Bench Mob undergoing extreme makeover
By Nick Friedell
Whether the Chicago Bulls match Omer Asik's offer sheet or not, don't expect them to make anymore major splashes in free agency. With the team deciding not to pick up the options for Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson, and likely not bringing back Kyle Korver and John Lucas III, the bench is going to look completely different next season.
Kirk Hinrich can play with Derrick Rose and will be a capable fill-in while Rose is out.
The Bulls are hoping they can fill the rest of it out with guys who will play for the veteran's minimum of just over $1 million and young players looking to prove themselves. That's why Forman made it clear at first-round pick Marquis Teague's press conference last week that the process of filling out the Bulls' roster may take the rest of July to figure out. The Bulls are going to go into the luxury tax, but the truth is that they would rather not go too deep into it this season given that their odds of winning a title are very slim.
What's so bad about Hinrich?: Plenty of Bulls fans are questioning the organization's decision to re-sign Kirk Hinrich, but I don't understand why. Yes, Hinrich has missed 28 games over the past two seasons, and he isn't the same player who came to Chicago from Kansas in 2003, but he is a solid veteran who can help bridge the gap with Derrick Rose out for a large chunk of next season. He can also play shooting guard if needed and has worked well with Rose in the past. He will fit in well into Tom Thibodeau's system and into the locker room culture.
Were there better options on the market? Sure. But given the Bulls' cap situation, and their hesitation to go deep into the luxury tax, Hinrich should fit well as long as he can stay on the floor. The cold reality for Bulls fans is that whether it was Hinrich or somebody else, there wasn't a guard out there on the market that the Bulls had a reasonable chance at who could push them past the Heat this season.