Hinrich, Lee, Roy, West, Rush, Fisher, Green (yes, Willie Green) - the Chicago Bulls have researched and been in contact with a lot of free agents so far this off-season, and yet have nothing to show for it. It's much ado about nothing as free agents shop their wares and pray at the altar of the almighty dollar.
The Bulls, in short, have been relegated to playing a waiting game.
Some of the UFAs the Bulls are interested in are drawing serious interest. At least eight teams are chasing Kirk Hinrich, and Courtney Lee has an equally impressive list of suitors. The Warriors are hot on Brandon Roy and can offer more money than the Bulls, and Miami is complicating matters by looking for a point guard of their own.
Good thing no one is chasing Willie Green, huh?
One player that's not drawing big interest is restricted free agent Brandon Rush, who I'd love to see in a Bulls uniform. The 6-foot-6 shooting guard is coming off a career year; the Warriors, who already have several wing-type players, have offered a contract and say they intend to keep Rush, but anything above $3 million or so a year will be hard for them to match, especially if they land Roy.
The Bulls' brass is also mulling whether or not to match Omer Asik's $25 million offer from the Houston Rockets. Based on various media reports and Tweets from the past couple of days, it sounds like management is leaning toward matching. What a tough decision - let Omer walk, which would give the Bulls a full MLE to work with, or pay $8 million a year for a backup center. Either way, management will be heavily criticized.
In addition, the Bulls hold team options on C.J. Watson and Kyle Korver, and must make a decision on their fates by July 10. While many fans are sure to disagree, Watson may be the best solution at point guard given the current market (i.e., what's available at what cost). By the way, Jason Kidd just worked out a three-year, $9 million deal with the Mavs; you figure out how that might impact the market for point guards.
It'll be interesting to see what the Bulls, who have more needs than dollars, can pull off between now and July 11, but the simple fact is, they'll have to wait until all other offers are in before making a move. Realistic fans have long recognized that the Bulls wouldn't be major players in free agency, but they are expecting something.
Notes: Bulls fans can now follow first round pick Marquis Teague on Twitter, @ marquisteague25
Sources: Bulls' hands tied in free agency Chicago Tribune.
YCN featured sports contributor Steve Merritt is - for better or worse - a lifelong Chicago Bulls, Bears and Cubs fan. He's followed the Bulls since 1969, when he tuned in after bedtime on a cheap dime store radio tucked under his pillow.
Other Chicago Bulls coverage from Steve:
Chicago Bulls Finally Get a Shot at Courtney Lee: A Fan's VIew: A Fan's View (July 4)