Monday, July 2, 2012
Sources: Bulls eye pair of guards
By Ramona Shelburne and Nick Friedell
CHICAGO -- In their quest to find a veteran point guard, the Chicago Bulls have been in contact with Derek Fisher, and they've also contacted shooting guard Brandon Roy, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
It was widely assumed that Fisher would quietly re-sign with the Oklahoma City Thunder after essentially choosing them over several contenders following a midseason trade from the Los Angeles Lakers and buyout from the Houston Rockets.
Fisher, 37, is also on the radar for the Miami Heat, Dallas Mavericks and Thunder. All three teams pursued him in March after he negotiated a buyout from the Rockets. Fisher gave up the final year and $3.4 million of his previous contract as part of his buyout from Houston. He signed for the remainder of the Thunder's $2.3 million midlevel exception, essentially a pro-rated $1.9 million.
Roy, 27, who retired before last season because of chronic knee problems, is hoping to make a comeback this season and could find a role with the Bulls for the right price. He and his representatives have spoken to members of the Bulls' staff as he tries to make his decision. Yahoo! Sports reported on Saturday that the Bulls were one of four finalists for Roy's services.
The question for the Bulls regarding both Roy and Fisher revolves around not only fit, but price. Bulls backup center Omer Asik agreed to a $25.1 million offer sheet with the Rockets on Sunday, and the Bulls have to decide whether to match.
While Bulls GM Gar Forman has stated repeatedly that his team will make basketball decisions, not financial ones, the Bulls appear to be weary about going too deep into the punitive luxury tax, especially for a team whose star player, Derrick Rose, figures to be out for a huge chunk of next season while recovering from ACL surgery.
Fisher's possible relationship with the Bulls first surfaced after his buyout in the spring. It was an addition that Rose seemed intrigued with at the time.
"D-Fish definitely could help our team," Rose said at the time. "But like I said, it's not up to me. It's up to the front office to make that call. If he comes, we'll welcome him with open arms, but we don't know right now."
With Richard Hamilton and Luol Deng already in the fold, Roy would likely come off the bench. With Fisher, the Bulls have the ability to sell him on a potential starting job to begin the season.