Friday, December 16, 2011

Bulls Sign Richard Hamilton

By Sean Mackey

The Chicago Bulls officially signed former Detroit Piston's all-star, Richard Hamilton Wednesday afternoon. The 33 year old shooting guard signed a 2 year, $10 million contract with a 3rd year team option. This signing puts the Bulls roster at 14.

While this signing was a no brainer, I can't help but feel like the Bulls may have missed out on possibly a younger back court running mate for Derrick Rose. Unfortunately, J.R. Smith is stuck playing in China and Arron Affalo and Nick Young were both restricted free agents so Rip was the only real option besides Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson.

The good thing about this signing is that Rip brings a ridiculous amount of veteran championship experience to the Bulls. On paper it looks like the right fit, however Rip is 33 years old and coming off his worst NBA season since his rookie year. Does Rip still have something in the tank to guard the likes of Dwayne Wade in the playoffs? Who knows. I sort of look at this signing as a temporary fix to the Bulls shooting guard problems. I have strong doubts that the Bulls will keep Rip the entire 3 years if they haven't made it to the NBA Finals by 2013.

I've always felt that J.R. Smith would be the perfect backcourt partner for Rose and it's definitely a possibility in the near future. I also think they should may a strong push to sign someone like Eric Gordon after Carlos Boozer is off the books. However, for some reason stars don't seem to really want to come to Chicago. I don't know if they're bitter about the 6 championships in the 90's or that Derrick Rose doesn't wanna be buddy-buddy with any of them. Regardless, the Bulls championship dreams should look brighter with Rip coming on as an obvious upgrade over Keith Bogans.

The Bulls 2 game preseason starts tonight against the Indiana Pacers. The Bulls will also play Indiana on Tuesday (12/20). The Pacers have added some decent players this offseason including David West and George Hill. Their playoff shooting guard, rookie, Paul George also grew 2 inches in the offeseason putting him at 6'10. I imagine Frank Vogel will likely start running him at the 3 this season with George Hill as the starting SG. The Pacers are going to be incredably deep this year and will contend for the Central Division title with the Bulls. After a heated first round exit, I'm sure Indiana is going to come out strong against Chicago tonight. Should be an interesting/sloppy game. Tipoff is 7:00 p.m. and the game will be televised on WGN Chicago. NBA basketball is finally back. Go Bulls!