As reported on the ESPN Chicago website on June 23, the Chicago Bulls have reached an agreement with Marco Belinelli. Unfortunately, for those of us who are used to watching the Bulls play solid defense the past two seasons, Belinelli will not bring this intangible to Chicago. However, according to Gar Forman, Belinelli is someone they've tried to acquire in the past and he feels that his game has shown steady improvement with each season.
Belinelli spent the last two years in New Orleans, where he averaged 10.4 points per game in 2010-2011 and 11.8 points per contest last season. In essence, his primary role will be to fill the back-up shooting guard spot at a cheaper price than the $5 million the team would have had to pay in order to retain Kyle Korver. If he can maintain the double-digit per game scoring average he provided to the Hornets and hit the three-point shot at a 40 percent clip, this could be a solid acquisition for the Bulls.
In other news, as a surprise to no one, the Bulls have announced they are not going to match the Rockets' three-year, $25 million deal for Omer Asik. This is mainly because the third year of the contract would pay him an astronomical $15 million, which is far too much for a player who is one-dimensional at this point in his career. The Bulls are expected to sign Nazr Mohammed in order to fill the void left by Asik's departure. I'm not completely sold on this exchange, but I can't fault the organization for not wanting to pay that kind of money for a player who is still a work in progress.
Last but not least, Ronnie Brewer, who was one of my favorite players of the "Bench Mob", has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the New York Knicks. Brewer appeared in all 66 games for the Bulls last season, including 43 starts. He averaged nearly seven points per game and was starting to hit the mid-range jumper with a little more consistency. His solid play on the defensive end, along with the ability to move without the basketball, made him a valuable asset in Tom Thibodeau's rotation. Brewer will be missed, but hopefully with additional playing time, Jimmy Butler will be able to step in and fill his shoes.
James Tillman III is a resident of the Chicago-land area who has followed the Bulls since the 1987-1988 season. James is also a Featured Sports Contributor for Yahoo and a Sports Journalist for Sports Rantz Magazine. Follow him on Twitter at @jtillman9693.
- Sports & Recreation
- Marco Belinelli
- Chicago Bulls
- Ronnie Brewer