Chicago’s New Dynamic Duo?

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HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS – As we’re often reminded during free agency, for most teams it’s not about what you need but what you can afford. Or better yet, what you are willing to pay for.

The Chicago Bulls represent that theory perfectly as they search for the right shooting guard play alongside reigning league MVP Derrick Rose this season as they chase the NBA title. They’ve courted Caron Butler and chatted up the likes of Jason Richardson and Jamal Crawford, all three of them ideal candidate for the job.

But there is a catch, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune explains:

The strategy appears to be to let the market come to them as they try to upgrade at shooting guard, armed only with salary cap exceptions. With other candidates like the Suns’ Vince Carter not officially waived yet, management sounds confident one player will sign for the right price for the chance to play for a title contender alongside Derrick Rose.

According to league sources, the Bulls have not yet offered the $5 million mid-level exception to any player, including Butler, who is meeting with the Nets on Wednesday and Thursday. Meanwhile, last season’s starter, Keith Bogans, continues to work out at Berto Center and looks to be in great shape.

So, it’s not just about who the Bulls want as much it is who is willing to come and play alongside a young superstar like Rose for the right price. On a team built on a bedrock of defense first, Crawford probably seems like a strange choice. But from this vantage point, he’s the no-brainer choice from a purely basketball standpoint.

You watched the Bulls’ run to the Eastern Conference finals last year just like we did. So you know exactly what they need (especially with Bogans returning in some capacity): another scorer, pure and simple. And in that department, none of the other players on the Bulls’ short-list measure up to the explosive Crawford. Good luck to the team trying to slow down Rose late in games with Crawford on the floor to take advantage of that strategy.

As Crawford proved in his two-year stint with the Hawks, he is at least a willing defender and a player able to subjugate his own ego and personal goals for the good of the team and the chance to win (two unfair knocks on him throughout his career that trailed him from spot to spot).

Normally, history with a franchise would throw a twist in the process. Crawford was drafted by Cleveland in the 2000 Draft but was sent to Chicago in a Draft-day deal (for Chris Mihm) and spent his first four seasons in the Windy City. He remains a media favorite among those who were working the beat when he played there.

While Butler appears to be the Bulls’ top choice, the same goes for the Spurs and at least a couple of other suitors, Crawford would be the wise choice. Because as Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau has shown in both Boston and Chicago, you don’t need great defenders to craft a great defensive team. You only need willing subjects.

But to solve the scoring problems that cost them throughout the postseason, the Bulls need a hired assassin, a player capable of huge scoring nights whenever you need to dial one up. That’s a luxury Crawford would give the Bulls that few others in this free agent market can provide.

***

72 Comments

  1. abdi afro says:

    HEY SEKOU WAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT MIAMI SIGNING ANOTHER OFFENSIVE THREAT.BESIDES THE BIG THREE MIAMI’S LINE- UP IS MORE SHALLOW THEN ANY OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE, AND WAT DO THINK ABOUT MIAMI SIGNING J-CRAWFORD OR CARON BUTLER . THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING AND GET SOMEONE TO IMPROVE THEIR LINE UP RIGGHHHHHHHHHHTTTTTTTTTTTT. REPPPPPLLLLYYYYYY SEKOU

  2. Michael says:

    I’d rather get Nick Young from the wizards. He is a great scorer and resembles a young Kobe. He is also younger than Crawford. 5 years to be exact. With two young players, D. Rose and N. Young it would be a great team

  3. Dennis says:

    Interesting that peple say Boozer is too old. Hes only 29/30. Not a rookie but hey Grant Hill is 39 and still killin it. I think its fiteness height etc.. but Boozer is not too old. He just needs his role better established as hes not to tall. With Noah Asik and Boozer at SF we’ll be alright. If we could ahve gotten Hill that woud have been perfect. Odom would be so good on the Bulls.

    Give me Odom for that Point Forward goodness running with those Bull slashers and games over. I WANT TO GO HIGHER.

  4. ian says:

    NENE = HEAT i think.. HEAT NEEDS A GREAT CENTER LIKE NENE !! SUGGEST ONLY ..

  5. karon says:

    d12 to bulls for boozer and korver.and sign crawford

  6. Banks says:

    The Bulls aren’t as good as a team as people think. The Eastern Conference is just severely easy. I don’t think they can beat any of the teams in the West in the NBA Championships, and they definitely can’t beat Miami Heat or Boston. Never has a regular size point guard lead any team to a championship ring. They need an Allstar Wing or Allstar Big man…..No amount of “normally would play on the bench” players can make up for that.

    • Brendan says:

      Haha you’re insane. The bulls had the best record in the league last year despite Noah and Boozer missing half the season each. They got to the eastern conference finals and took a 1-0 lead on Miami. They were in every game in that series and if it weren’t for a few plays, could have won it. Rose is the best point guard in the game and is only getting better every year.

  7. matt says:

    How bout jason richardson? i think chicago should consider him

  8. Noah & Boozer for Karnett & Ray Allen says:

    what do you think?

  9. what about Noah & Boozer for Karnett & Ray Allen says:

    what do you think, I know its sort of out of topic

  10. fonz says:

    chicago needs jr smith or jamal crawford

  11. Rose got this.. he just need that extra strength from a 2 guard to help i think Jason Richardson and Vc & Jamal Crawford would do fine in Chicago i believe in the Chicago Bulls ! ! !

  12. jimmy says:

    jamal crawford, caron butler, jason richardson, Nick Young dont forget a bout Nick Young boy does he got offense if they can get him to defend which he is able to do then Dang.

  13. FreshPrinceG23 says:

    I hope that Vince is the guy they pick up I saw Vince Carter’s games last year he shot almost 40% from three last and he also is a clutch shooter. Plus he gets to the hole from time to time. Plus with Bulls Defense the coach has it helps Carter sometimes lack of defense. But i think a veteran with experience needs the job. He’s going to be willing because he knows this is his last chance at a title shot

  14. oli says:

    Why not Arron Affalo and Nene? Both are good defenders and can score… They’re not stars but hard workers and actually, i don’t want the bulls to be a team with 3 stars…

  15. Max. W says:

    It seems like up till now the only names involved with the Knicks have been CP3, Superman, and Grant Hill. Now it seems like Tyson Chandler is going to end up in the Big Apple. Although, he’s not a superstar like Cp3 or Dwight Howard he is the key to the Knicks’ success. Let’s examine why they are the match made in heaven.

    To read more go to http://www.nbathroughmyveins.wordpress.com

    • Ken says:

      Anyone who thinks the Bulls dont need a another scorer is kidding themselves . Anyone who doubts that Jamal could help the Bulls obviously didnt see him destroy Jrich and the magic in the first rd of the playoffs last year. Jamals presence thats right kiddies I said presence would help alleviate the constant doubling of Rose just as it did for Joe Johnson in Atlanta..

      It would also give the Bulls another late game ballhandler which would allow Rose to play off the ball some and take advantage of weak pg’s in the post or form the wing as well.

  16. jbilla127 says:

    Aaron affalo great scorer and sound defender,if that fails maybe jr smith we all know he can light it up….

  17. i believe that a guy like crawford is too quick with his shots, hes not a good playmaker, he wouldn’t fit into the bulls offense, anyway the bulls already have a primary scorer Derrick Rose! We need an all around good offensive player, not a 41% fg shooter (thanks for the stat, jk) and a guy that wastes possesions on bad shots. we should get j-rich

    • Branson says:

      Exactly, the more I think about, the more obvious it is the Jamal is not the best choice. I think the key phrase in this article is “media friendly when he was in Chicago”. Its cool that he’s a nice guy and you miss the good ‘ol days, but the last thing Chicago needs is another on-on-one scorer, unless he’s coming off the bench. That ability is what made him such a threat off the bench. They need someone to be in the right spots and work through the offense. But I’d rather have Jamal than J-Rich and Caron over both of them…

  18. Branson says:

    OJ MAYO!!!!!! C’mon man, Jamal is off the chain and the Bulls would definately get better. But OJ Mayo is super consistent and young and has the demeanor to not only help them dramatically this year ( just as much as Jamal), but they would have the long term 2 guard theyre looking for. Someone who will always be in the right spot for D Rose, knock down the jumper consistently, and sell out on defense. Love Jamal but Mayo would take this team to the next level.

  19. Brian says:

    they still will lose to the heat!

  20. Rocky says:

    If the bulls trade crawford and keep their mid-level then they can sign JR Smith when he is released from his contract or gets back from china in march.

    Lineup:
    C-Noah-sub-Asik
    PF-Boozer-Taj
    SF-Deng-Jimmy Butler
    SG-Crawford-JR Smith
    PG-Rose-Watson

  21. half says:

    and i guarantee you guys they would not mess up that chemistry and trade any pieces they got from utah that is why they are fishing for prospects the way they are doing now (LETTING THEM COME TO THE BULLS)

  22. John says:

    Wat happens if the Spurs actually use the amnesty on Jefferson like reported, would the Bulls want to pursue him? I think in this case the Bulls could use him and Deng on the floor at the same time and have Deng guard the better player out of the SF and SG. This makes sense to me, and would provide the Bulls with an extra 10+ points a game, while keeping other great defenders like Brewer on the team. Imagine the size of the Bulls line up with Rose, Jefferson, Deng, BOOZE (who I expect a big bounce back from), and Noah. People would start headin to the United Center when lookin for the beef (wendy’s joke).
    I also like the thought of Butler, and hope that the Clip deal wasn’t as good as the reality of a championship the bulls provide.

  23. half says:

    utah could of beaten every team in the west except kobe and the lakers notice who always beat them they beat nuggets easy any other team easy they always had to go through lakers and lost if they had stayed together they would of beaten dallas because they would of breeze through okc denver and or memphis

  24. Brian says:

    idk y people think bulls will beat the heat when they only won 1 game out of 5. u people r crazy ahahhahaha

  25. half says:

    I said it last year and I am going to say it again the bulls team is the same team the utah had two years ago the substitutions were rose for deron williams noah for kerilinko and asik for their center the only difference is rose is not a better point guard than deron williams and asik can’t shoot three pointers everything else is the same brewer korver boozer all traded to the east don’t mind if rose gets all the praise it is his team and boozer actually shot better than rose last year the only intangible the league put on this whole situation with the bulls is pressure. cj miles for deng and taj gibson or noah for milsap everyone just bought in the year before bulls were 8th seed and utah was 3rd in the west with i think atleast 60 wins that is the norm a west team is now in the east the back up point guard for rose c j watson can be a starter their bench is amazing the starter are ok but they all bought into playing defense they play hard and they rotate everyone alot except rose ( he is still young) and they are gonna crash him and toss him to the side like deron williams if it does not work out they are a family now and i respect d rose but his numbers weren’t mvp numbers his team game was.

  26. Troy says:

    Shannon Brown > Jamal Crawford

  27. Troy says:

    C’mon ReinsGarPax, just pay some luxury taxes and make this Afflalo thing happen somehow. Jamal Crawford is a ball-stopping, no D playing, 1 dimensional bum. I would take Butler or J-Rich over him, but you give me Afflalo and we’re cookin’ with grease. Methinks Vince is a bit too old (and heartless) for my liking, and Rip doesn’t hit the 3 well enough. Spend the dough boys, that D Rose #1 pick was a thing of destiny.

    Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa Bulls!

  28. please answer Sekou says:

    What about James Jones who beat Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in the three point contest. He can play the 2 and the 3 and because he didn’t get any playing time in the finals he wants to leave!

    I know Jamal is the number one option but why forget about James Jones completely ?

  29. jesse says:

    VC to heat

  30. Ben says:

    I agree with dX5 (ddddd), Thibs has his team on an excellent defensive system. I can definitely see Crawford filling in at SG because he’s an excellent scorer, but at the end of the day there are at least five other players that would be a great fit also. While I’m not taking anything away from them, I could just see the Bulls having success with Crawford and he seems to be the front runner for the time being. Let’s also not forget that he did have some big games in the playoffs against Orlando last year, which would be a great help if they get in again this season. He would be more than capable of stepping up to the plate should any team try to double Rose, or if Rose is having an off game. At any rate, this season will be interesting with all the talent waiting to be traded around.

  31. A black dude says:

    What about micheal redd for a 6th man role or My boy nick young as a starter. They gave grant hill a second chance and that paid off so why not redd. He was once right up there with ray allen and i doubt he has lost his shooting touch. Nick young was the wizards best scrorer to me and can make tough shots ro release presure off rose. he not a good defender but under thibs i believe he would be much improved.

    • Rip Greenfire says:

      That’s a good point. No doubt he’s gonna get waived before the season starts. The problem is he’s no spring chicken, and he might retire if anything bad happens to him.

  32. G-Dub3 Portland says:

    or jamal or j-rich… chitown needs one of SG who can hit the 3 two or three times in a row

  33. jk says:

    please, anyone but crawford……. bad defender, career 41% shooter, worse in the playoffs……more of an off-the-dribble shooter……I dont see him and Rose co-existing

  34. Taylor Harrington says:

    SEKOU!!! I love you on the jump, please try to respond to this. The bulls need a guy who can fill it up, and that is clearly jamal crawford. Caron butler is a guy who gets after it defensively, but honestly with ronnie brewer (who I think is incredibly under-rated when it comes to his on ball defense) the bulls could have a cool 2 man rotation at that 2 guard spot. So clearly the bulls need a SCORER, and I dont know about you all, but when Jamal Crawford has the ball in his hands, he is much more threatening to score than caron is. but thats just how i feel, both guys would be a great choice (please dont sign jason richardson though), but i think that the bulls specific situation calls for a pure scorer, and thats what j-crawford brings. i havent even brought up arron afflalo, who is the best candidate of ALL, but hes restricted so Denver would be damn near MORONIC to not match any offer. WHAT DO YOU THINK SEKOU SMITH?????

    • Sekou Smith says:

      I told you, I think Jamal is the ideal fit. And anyone suggest that he is somehow a bench player now because that’s the role he played the past two seasons in Atlanta, are wrong. He’s an elite scorer and exactly what the Bulls need.

  35. 17,6 says:

    well i used 2 like j-rich in phoenix, golden state, and charlotte but he chocked in orlando last season…as 4 vince carter well if he is cheap i guess chicago can try it out, he did do better then j-rich in orlando but he is super old…but the most obvious choice 2 me is crawford cuz he can score at will even though he is a bit old as well but if he is a good price then do it chicago…caron butler is nice 2 but isn’t he a 3? anythin’ so that arrogant bastard of lebron doesn’t get his ring!!!…lets go lakers!!!!

  36. g chaffee says:

    crawford-scorer good teammate just what bulls need

  37. ddddd says:

    The bulls need someone who is able and willing to be that 2nd badazz on that team to take the load off of DRose. 2guard was the bulls weakest position by far last year. Crawford can be that guy. Boozer is old. Noah is not a scorer. Deng is best suited as the no. 3 option. Crawford has learned alot since his first stint in Chicago. Thibs can work wonders with people on defense regardless who they are as long as they buy in. Who wouldn’t want to buy in with a team that is maybe a piece or two away from knocking off Miami for Eastern conference and possibly NBA supremecy depending on what goes on out west?
    I could even see a San Antonio-Ginobli-that-one-year-that-he-was-a-6th-man situation brewing here. Start either Bogans or Brewer for defensive purposes but yet fit the rotations so that Crawford gets most of the minutes at the 2 and plenty of shot opportunities. Maybe give Crawford 5 min at the 1 for when DRose rests? (BTW Crawford has played the 1 for very short stints, especially with ATL and held his own in spite of the fact that he is naturally a 2) Kind of a 30-15 give or take scenario with a huge portion of that 30-33 minutes coming with the 2nd unit or 4th quarter…. with the 15-18 minutes split between Brewer, Bogans, and Korver with the first unit, earlier in the game, depending on the need for that game and who subs in for Deng when he rests.

  38. Sosay says:

    good thing to get the right price. chi town could use 2. theres a lot available. grant hill would be awesome, crawford, obviously caron butler, richardson probably the best pickup, tayshaun prince, heck even vinsanity. at least 1 will stick.

  39. lev237 says:

    At the end of the day, is it really defense we talk about? NOBODY can stop Wade from scoring at least 20ppg in the Payoffs. The question is, can you strike back? Bogans couldn’t. Crawford can.

  40. NBAIQ says:

    Pulling in both Jamal Crawford and Caron Butler would be worth trading brewer and korver. That move would cause the Heat to panic. Gar Forman would be 100% Exec of the Year!

  41. D rose is beast says:

    Keith brogans defense plus jamal crawfords scoring would be great for the bulls

  42. Samh says:

    I agree with Ephraze, not that you need detox. haha. Jamal is only good coming off the bench, plus he might be the streakiest shooter in the league, now if he gets hot he is almost unstoppable but i don’t think chi-towns structure would work with him. On the defensive side of things he’s nothing but a liability. Caron Butler is the clear choice here. Are they pursuing Grant Hill at all?

  43. G-man says:

    Rumor is that the Bulls will trade Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver for Jamal Crawford in a sign and trade deal that would allow Crawford to have an $8 million salary and it would also allow the bulls to keep the mid-level exception to sign another wing like J-Rich if the Bulls pull this off Gar Forman needs a raise

    • Sekou Smith says:

      Agreed. If it came to fruition, that would put an exclamation point on Gar Forman’s Exec of the Year award.

      • Vlad says:

        Yes. That would be THE move. With J Rich as a starting SG and Crawford off the bench the Bulls will be a bog contender

      • Ephraze says:

        As much as I want O.J. Mayo to go to the Bulls, J-Rich and Jamal together would make the Bulls a better and DEEPER team. I’m just surprised that the Mavericks have no plans of signing Caron Butler, Barea, or Chandler. Are they in rebuilding mode or does Mark Cuban have sme Magic up his sleeve????

    • Haydz says:

      Thats a brilliant idea, and if it works I can smell a championship. Keeping the MLE up their sleeve will be a huge plus coming into the season, and they can use it to bolster their bench. With Crawford coming off the bench he’ll likely get the 6th man award, and with a player like Vince or J-Rich starting at SG, the Bulls are more than complete. I cant see how they could lose.

    • ATL says:

      Nope. Hawks already have enough Guards. They need a Center, so Brewer/Korver/Watson & Asik for Jamal would be ideal. No ASIK No TRADE
      And if this trade involving Asik goes through Watch out haters !!!

  44. chris says:

    I like him with the Hawks and I liked him with the Knicks too. He does fit well with the Bulls though. I didn’t know he was originally drafted by the Caviliers though.

  45. Turkish Delight says:

    #3 Omer Asik !

  46. joe says:

    I say do it!He’d surely help Rose in scoring!

  47. Thetruth says:

    IF Jamal Crawford does go to Chicago they will definatly be able to compete against the power houses of Miami and New York and could possibly win a championship

  48. Ephraze says:

    Sekou have you taken up a new hobby of Crystal Meth waiting for this lockout to end???!!!!

    Jamal Crawford ONLY makes sense if AND ONLY IF (Chris rock voice) he comes off the bench. I can’t think of one starting 2 guard he candefend in the entire league. The OBVIOUS choice for the 2 guard position is O.J. Mayo. He can defend, he can drive, he can hit the three, he’s young and athletic, and he’s affordable. Trust me, Memphis needs the cap space to sign Marc Gasol. If you’re going to suggest Jamal Crawford, why don’t we see if we can get Beasley from Minessota???!!!

    Detox big homey. Detox…….Happy to see you guys back. One.

    • Sekou Smith says:

      I don’t need any chemical assistance Ephraze. Haha. I don’t dislike OJ Mayo as an option. I just like Jamal more.

      • stevepaullewis says:

        oj mayo is the best option available for the bulls… trading gibson and bulls first round pick for mayo would instantly improve the team… if bulls are worried about no backup pf sign carl landry with the MLE and add him to the bench mob

      • Jimmy says:

        you sound intelligent but i honestly see quite a few guards jamal could defend. hes still quick and athletic himself. definitely a better option for them than bogans (clutch 3pt shooter and playmaker) while bogans is just there to hit open 3s sometimes and play good D which he could do on the bench like brewer. jamal’s not just a backup pg.

    • Jack says:

      They wont go to O.J Mayo. Best chances are Crawford or Richardson. got to get someone who can hit big shots to draw more attention off of Rose. Rose needs a good player like Crawford. i hope Bulls sign him. They could end up playing in the Eastern Conference Finals again against Heat but this time win.

  49. ROSEhomer says:

    chicago needs somelike vince. He is not the player he used to be, thats for sure but still not many people realize that he can still deliver. It is just a matter of willingness.

    • Spirito says:

      You are right about willingness, but i don’t see vince being a player who has the willingness to be putting his effort to the game, let alone on the defensive end…

    • Rip Greenfire says:

      Sorry man, Vince is no longer the man he was, he never was the man he should’ve been. Viince is a sorry pathetic man and I hope he leaves this league with a whimper.

      • Jimmy says:

        sure he wasn vinsanity in orlando but he still put up numbers for them. you’d expect a guy to slow down as he gets older. its not like a tmac (once a superstar but plagued with injuries) vince has been great his whole career until orlando becuz his age came with him. playing with mvp d rose and guys like luol deng and joakim noah i think could light a fire under him, not to be vinsanity but make the difference between conference finalists and nba champions