Hamilton Out Of Bulls’ Rotation, Plans?

CHICAGO — Veteran Chicago Bulls swingman Richard Hamilton, known equally for his constant motion, crafty scoring ability and in-game accessories (head band, protective fiberglass mask), might want to go with a brown paper bag these days.

As in, who he?

From 2003-09, Hamilton was one of the playoffs’ most familiar faces, packing in 120 appearances in seven seasons with the Detroit Pistons. Over the next three postseasons, he played in just six games, all with Chicago last spring. But now his involvement has dropped off the table entirely.

In Game 1 of the Bulls’ first-round series against the Brooklyn Nets, Hamilton came off the bench in a playoff game for the first time ever. He went scoreless in 7:14, which led to another personal first: Hamilton didn’t play at all in Game 2, picking up his first postseason DNP-CD.

Now he appears to be out of coach Tom Thibodeau‘s postseason rotation entirely. With minutes at a premium and the Bulls in need of scoring wherever they can find it, Thibodeau has turned to Marco Belinelli in reserve of newfound starter Jimmy Butler. In a total of 30 minutes in the two games so far, Belinelli has scored 21 points while shooting 7-for-15.

Thibodeau also has used Nate Robinson in tandem with point guard Kirk Hinrich, rather than strictly as a backup, also draining minutes that might have gone to Hamilton.

“He missed a good chunk of the season down the stretch, and then we tried to get him some games at the end just so he can get his rhythm back,” the Bulls coach said the other day.

That never really happened. After missing March with a bad back, Hamilton returned April 9 but averaged only 5.8 points in 15.8 minutes while shooting 41.9 percent in five final regular-season appearances.

Thus Hamilton’s two-season stay with the Bulls appears to be fading to black. Oh, he might be called upon here or three, particularly if Chicago advances, but this wasn’t what any of them had in mind when Hamilton signed a three-year, $15 million contract after the lockout in December 2011.

The vision then called for him to team in the Bulls’ backcourt with Derrick Rose, benefiting in late career from the defensive attention Rose drew on penetrations into the lane while simultaneously spreading the floor for the dynamic point guard. Chicago had made it to the Eastern Conference finals with defensive-oriented Keith Bogans alongside Rose, but it was clear it needed someone to share the scoring load.

How’d that work out for the Bulls? Due to injuries to one or both, Hamilton and Rose played a total of 18 games together in two seasons, sharing the backcourt for only 396 minutes. Spread across the possible 148 games in 2011-12 and 2012-13, that’s the equivalent of 2.7 minutes per game.

That’s about right, in terms of impact. Hamilton was unable to stay healthy through a series of ailments, missing 38 games last season and 32 this year. Rose missed 27 a year ago and, of course, hasn’t suited up since his ACL injury in the 2012 playoff opener. (He and Hamilton combined for 42 points that afternoon, a tease of what might have been).

Good idea that never got traction? More like a dice roll that didn’t pan out. Hamilton had limited game and no durability left by the time the Bulls signed him off Detroit’s amnesty. He scored 20 points or more five times in 2011-12 and four this season, but wasn’t around enough to consistently boost the Bulls’ attack. He has a $1 million guarantee for next season, which almost certainly will become his severance check so the Bulls can avoid the other $4 million for 2013-14.

It’s worth looking at Hamilton’s impact in another way, given Chicago’s focus on dollars expended. Hamilton, in two regular seasons, scored a total of 816 points for $10 million. That’s $12,255 per point. Bogans — working against the Bulls from the Brooklyn bench — started all 82 games in his one season with them, scored 359 points and was paid $1.6 million. That’s $4,457 per point.


  1. Moby says:

    I say bring Ben Gordon back as shooting guard to help Rose next year. He’s still got the dangerous 3-point shot, but barely plays because of Kemba Walker starting and Ramon Sessions taking up the minutes in Charlotte. With Thibs as coach Ben will also play D as well.

  2. Monica says:

    We should have let Rip go last year and used the extra cash to keep Omer Asik. 😦 We could really use him right now with Noah’s injury.

  3. Cj says:

    Get Chandler Parsons

  4. BULLSSSS says:

    Get Ben Gordon back!!! He’s been playing really bad ball since he left the Windy City Go Bulls

  5. Whocares says:


  6. MAC BUDDY says:


  7. OD says:

    The Bulls should try and snag Clay Thompson of out of Golden State! Watch him play, he’s like a younger version of Reggie Miller, deadly touch from the outside with a very quick shot that can use hard screens to get free! He would be the perfect compliment to a healthy DRose and DABulls!

  8. jack m. says:

    We have been waiting for that good tandem of Rose and Hamilton but you would have to go back a few years for Hamilton to be that good player, Don’t people forget that the Bulls had J.R.Smith and they traded him. Don’t worry Bulls fans Derrick will grow some cujones soon and you can pair him up with Jimmy(BIG DEE) Butler and there’s your backcourt.

  9. theholyspectator says:

    father time gets the best of us

  10. boston rules says:

    Hamilton is a quality player, probably better than melo

  11. don't know says:

    does anyone think monta ellis or jennings would fit in for bulls

  12. fonz says:

    Hamilton had is years with Detroit and people get old and it’s hard for them to go out on top. It’s sad that in most cases older players are forced out but it happens because their brains can’t manage to comprehend that their bodies aren’t able to do what they once were capable of doing. Hamilton style of play was wonderful to watch, His play was very team oriented and he just seemed like a team player. I hate that the Bulls received him as a player when injuries and father time was taken a toll. I hope the Bulls young players can grasp his position at this time and learn that if they play long enough that could be them as well, but INJURIES can happen to anyone and change the whole way your life can be lived basketball or otherwise!!!!

  13. wakaloooka says:

    He needs to start playing harder if he wants to add more sneakers to his collection.

  14. Rose fan says:

    w/e …………………….. u sound like a FOOL. Drose is the reason the stadium is packed. Oh, u must think Noah and Boozer did that! ……….. #fooltaking!

  15. Rose fan says:

    OUT??? He was never IN. Thats why Drose ain’t coming back ……… for what. The front office has done a terrible job bringing in peoples to play with rose. The ones they did bring in, just let get away (Omar and Korver). Boozer has JUST RECENTLY started earning his $80 million. I know Drose is home grown, but if DA BULLS don’t make sure he has help next season I would get out of town on the NEXT THING SMOKING!!!!! And thats FO REAAA ELLL!

  16. Moby says:

    The bulls should re-sign Ben Gordon. Ben Gordon with Derrick Rose will make a strong backcourt. Even with Tom Thibedous defense Ben will be able to defense. We saw in the 2008 playoff series with Derrick Rose (as a rookie) with Ben Gordon when the Bulls played the Celtics. The Bulls were a young team at that time and took the series to 7 games. Now, they have experienced players and maturity.

    If you need scoring and to help Derrick Rose, then I say sign Ben Gordon once his contract is over with the Bobcats. Ben Gordon did pretty good offensively with Chicago. He was quite consistent in his last 2 years with Chicago. The only reason his numbers haven’t been good in Detroit for 3 seasons and Charlotte this year is because he barely had playing time.

    When he was with Detroit he was competing for starting guard with Rip Hamilton, Rodney Stuckey, Brandon Knight, and Will Bynum. Now in Charlotte he barely plays because of Kemba Walker. Ben Gordon is still a good player and is explosive by hitting those 3-pointers.

    We need another scorer to relieve Derrick Rose of all the responsibility, so this is the way to go. Gar and Pax I hope you guys are listening!


  17. Patty says:

    Hamilton is a very good player.

  18. Mikey P says:

    Trade JR Smith…. that’s a good one. I needed a funny laugh today. That’s not happening. Where in the world did you even get a thought in your mind that NY would consider putting him on the trade market?

    • Mark says:

      He’s a free agent at the end of the season, and the fact he has taken 2 seasons of pay-cuts to stay in new york, and now he has won Sixth man award, and obviously wants to start, if NYK don’t offer him a pay rise n a starting berth, you’d be suprised…

  19. Paula says:

    I am a Bulls and D.Rose fan and I actually prefer him to wait until next season for his comeback. Leave him be….with all those injuries he had last season then with the eventual ACL tear i understand his hesitancy to return especially at this late date. Best just to wait next season….We should’ve gotten Joe Johnson last year…that would’ve been smooth…it would be good to get J.R. but it will behard to get him away from NYK

  20. Fernnn says:

    We should get OJ Mayo over rip..

  21. Chris says:

    Bulls have 0 percent chance to .make it to the finals and I’m a bulls fan

  22. Antohony fonseca says:

    all u guys blow

  23. W/E says:

    Healthy Rose sitting on the bench doing nothing while his teammates fight for the playoffs is a disgrace, and he got the nerve to go and dunk in pregame time and then sit on the bench, what about all this, he is healthy and clear to play, getting paid for just watching and being a fan on the bulls bench?

    • Reality says:

      Ummmm… You realize this is an article about Rip Hamilton being taken out of the rotation, not about Rose not playing right? Has anyone ever thought maybe it really isn’t up to him. I know Bulls management has said they regret they let Jordan come back after his broken foot and would like if Rose took the whole year off. So is it so hard to believe that management dictated he take the whole year off, It’s possible they did this and they just don’t want to lose money from fans by telling them they shut him down for the season.

    • Sam says:

      II think the Bulls have secret plans for Rose like maybe a blockbuster trade in the offseason so they need other teams to think he is just as good as he used to be before his injury.

  24. Najib Zantout says:

    if there was one person that i would love to see replacing hamilton, it would be JR Smith

    • DJ3 says:

      Not possible, Knicks wouldn’t give up J.R. after him winning SMOTY.

    • vito says:

      And Chicago have no one to control JR like the knicks did. Look at Nate and I personally don’t think JR will be a good 1-2 with Rose.

  25. Keisha says:

    I think that Chicago needs to get rid of Hamilton and all those non-contributing players and get some real talent on the team. They are wasting money on players who are finished and who are unable to produce when they need it.

    • Denzo says:

      Imagine how teams not in the playoffs feel.. lol everyone thinks they are an NBA coach on the internet I love it!

  26. asdasd says:

    go back to detroit and help the young guys with a veteran minimum contract rip! they will appreciate you

  27. Art says:

    Congratulations to Tom Thibodeau. He understands eventually that Hamilton should not be in the rotation and Butler is the best Bulls SG. So, Tom is not stupid, just a little bit slow, like 5 month behind.
    If next year he stops overplay Deng, Noah and some other players Bulls definitely avoid so many injuries and be contender.

  28. Efrain says:

    Hamilton is still a clutch shooter. I still prefer to give the ball to Hamilton than Belineli. If he can show some healthy I think He es going to be so necesary if the Bulls want a run to the finals. Rose must be there also. For now the Bulls just need to be focus and concentrated in the next game no matter who will be on rotation. From Tom to Benny, everybody needs to step up. It’s playoff! Go Bulls!

  29. dmh says:

    You roll the dice… sometimes you get snakeeyes and other times its double sixs and other times its just simply a losing hand.

    Given the situation at the beginning of Hamilton’s contract, that signing seemed like a no-brainer. It was only 5 mil a season. The guy was only a couple seasons off of his last significant playoff action and the guy is a former allstar. It looked at the time to be the bulls final piece.

    Nowdays it doesn’t look as smart. Things, namely injuries, never allowed that vision to come to light. There also wasn’t enough time to get the chemistry down. I also wonder if there was enough basketballs on the court for Rose, Deng, Boozer, and Hamilton. With Rose out, Boozer’s numbers returned back to normal, as in his approximate Utah numbers. Deng’s numbers really didn’t change that much. The big thing that the bulls lacked this season is that finisher (aka Rose)….

    The Bulls will survive. They are good enough to make noise in the playoffs as is. This year is a noise year. This is not a “championship contender year”. Lets see what happens when the finisher comes back (and the heat get another year older) and what happens this summer.

  30. juice says:

    please take j.r smith.. he is working hard to change his image

    • NHbleedsGREEN says:

      ya cuz ny will trade this yrs. 6 man of the year and 1 of the 2 guys who can actually score for them.

      • Mark says:

        Well…that is what Oklahoma City did…

      • G.J. says:

        Who said anything about trading him? It’s CALLED J.R. Smith being a FREE AGENT at the end of this season, duh. lol. He took a paycut two years in a row to be in NY because he likes it there. If they don’t give him the raise he feels he deserves after 2 paycuts and winning a 6th man award, I’d say the Bulls have a chance to get him. Its no secret he wants to start anyway, and if they offered him that, plus the raise. He may leave NY

      • allan says:

        Chicago will not go after jr smith he is not the type of player thibs would want..besides, the bulls already had him before and didnt use him. as for the hamilton thing, he’ll be gone next year the bulls will start jimmy butler and try to keep bellineli to come off the bench as he’s said he likes playing in chicago. wish we could get korver back too!

  31. Fed says:

    I hope the Bulls won’t continue with hamilton..he’s old, injury prone and inefficient. i’d love to see him replaced by o.j. mayo

  32. markderani says:

    Your figures are disturbingly accurate

  33. isis says:

    if you want to look at it from the cash point of view kobe bryant costs $14275 per point taking into account of his salary of 30.45mil.. so what?

    • Monica says:

      So what? Ahhhh so Kobe contributes to his team, makes an impact. He contributes so much he got a pretty serious injury playing so many min. just so LA could make it to the playoffs. On the other hand Rip is getting paid to do absolutely NOTHING! When I saw this article I was like Oh Yeah Rip “plays” for the Bulls. So to that So what I say, he gets paid for working!

      • KobeWho says:

        MJ played through much more physical defense and adversity. The Jordan rules required players to bring MJ to the ground, yet he never was injured for long stretches during pivotal playoff appearances. Today’s stars are fragile little puppies, even the likes of Lebron who missed a few games at the end of the year to remain rested and avoid injury. Kobe is injured, boohoohoo.