GM: Bulls reach out to Robinson, Belinelli

July, 1, 2013
7/01/13
1:22
PM CT
Padilla By Doug Padilla
ESPNChicago.com
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DEERFIELD, Ill -- On the first day of the NBA's free-agency period, Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman said the team already has reached out to Nate Robinson, Nazr Mohammed and Marco Belinelli.

[+] EnlargeNate Robinson
Brad Penner/USA TODAY SportsNate Robinson likely priced himself out of the Bulls' plans with his big playoff performance.
All three saw their contracts expire at the completion of the 2012-13 season.

Forman sounded especially keen on keeping Mohammed and seemed confident that the big man will return.

"We really like Nazr," Forman said. "I think, first of all, it's good to have veterans like Nazr that have been around the league and understand what it takes to be successful. I think he's great in our locker room, on the practice floor, and I think he was very good in games, especially late in the year. It just gives you a veteran inside presence."

Getting Robinson and Belinelli to stay might not be as simple. Both figure to test the free-agent waters and could become too expensive for the Bulls, whose payroll makes them a luxury-tax team.

Robinson played a huge role for the Bulls down the stretch and in the playoffs. His biggest impact came in the playoffs when he scored 34 points to carry the Bulls to a triple-overtime victory over the Brooklyn Nets.

"Obviously, there is interest (in Robinson) because we have a very good team and we are in a great market with great fans and have a chance to have success," Forman said. "But usually it takes a while to see where the market's going, especially when you're not talking about max-type guys. Sometimes those will break a little bit earlier. Obviously, we're not in that game this summer."

Belinelli was solid off the bench in his first season with the Bulls, averaging 9.6 points per game, slightly over his career average of 9.0. But his spot on the team could be in jeopardy after the Bulls drafted shooters Tony Snell and Erik Murphy.

"Obviously, we've reached out to Marco and his representatives right away," Forman said. "We have interest in him coming back (but) he needs to get a feel of the market, as do we."

Doug Padilla

Chicago White Sox beat reporter
Doug joined ESPN Chicago in July 2010 and covers the Chicago White Sox for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN Radio 1000.

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