Source: Bulls to pursue Rip Hamilton
DEERFIELD, Ill. -- The Chicago Bulls plan to pursue Rip Hamilton when he is bought out by the Detroit Pistons, according to a source familiar with the situation, and Derrick Rose said Hamilton would be a good fit.
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"Rip is a winner," Rose said after the Bulls first practice Friday night. "I can't say nothing bad about him."
Hamilton, 33, spent the past nine seasons in Detroit, where he won a championship in 2004. Hamilton had a falling out with coach John Kuester, who was fired after last season, and was benched for a large part of a seven-week period. He averaged 14.1 points last season, which was his lowest output since his rookie year.
The Bulls had interest in Hamilton last season as they looked for help at shooting guard. Keith Bogans' status with the Bulls remains in doubt. The team has until Dec. 19 to pick up an option on Bogans, who was pulled off the practice court Friday because of his contract status, a source said.
"He's got a championship," Rose said of Hamilton. "It's great. He knows how to win. He came from winning programs. And if he comes along, I know that we'll be happy to have him."
Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau did not want to discuss the possibility of bringing Hamilton to the team.
"I don't know," Thibodeau said. "I'm not going to comment on that because I haven't heard that. Like I've said, I like the guys that we have here and whoever we decide to go forward with, I'm good with."
Joakim Noah also planned to concentrate on the players currently on the roster.
"I think that's Rip's a hell of a player. But I think that as a player, those aren't things that we can control," Noah said. "We don't really know what Pax and Gar and them are doing, but I have confidence that those guys are doing the right things.
"For us, the only thing we can do is work hard. I think there's definitely a couple players that should be coming back. I think Keith will probably be coming back ... I hope. I don't know what the situation is but all we can do is control what we can control as players."
The Bulls released the following statement regarding Bogans: "Keith Bogans is under contract with the Bulls and we have a December 19th option on that contract. At this time, we are exploring several options in finalizing our roster. We have always respected Keith's professionalism and we hope to have more clarity on this situation soon."
The Chicago Tribune first reported the Bulls' interest in Hamilton.
Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.