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Chicago Bulls Strike Out with Radmanovic: A Fan’s View

Yahoo Contributor Network

The Chicago Bulls have pulled their second free agent coup - yes, that's right, coup - of the season by coming to terms with Vladimir Radmanovic, who will sign with the team sometime today.

A 12-year veteran, the 6-foot-10 forward played in 49 games for Atlanta last year, averaging 4.5 points and 2.9 rebounds a game. He's exactly what the Bulls are looking for this offseason: A warm body - although that doesn't seem to be an absolute requirement - who'll sign a one-year deal for the league minimum, resume not required.

Yup, sure sounds like a basketball decision to me, right Gar? A lousy one.

The Bulls now have nine players under contract for the upcoming season: Derrick Rose (who'll be out most of the season), Kirk Hinrich (who's missed time the past two seasons with injuries), Luol Deng (who might miss part of the season), Rip Hamilton (who, based on last year's showing, will miss most of the season), Carlos Boozer (a walking injury waiting to happen), Joakim Noah (an ankle turn away from missing significant time), Jimmy Butler, Marquis Teague and now Radmanovic (who missed time last season with back issues).

Nine players, seven of whom are either currently injured or are an injury risk. And we still have 3-4 more Radmanovic-type signings (i.e., league minimum) who'll be expected to take up the slack left by the departure of The Bench Mob. They'll be hacks, like Hinrich and Radmanovic, but let's at least hope they're healthy hacks.

Kirk Hinrich and Vladimir Radmanovic - it's all very disappointing.

I think a few fans understood that there wouldn't be any big splashes this offseason - those clamoring for the likes of a Dwight Howard or Tyreke Evans were simply not dealing with reality - but they did expect something. The Bulls never had a realistic shot at O.J. Mayo dollars-wise, but it seems like a Courtney Lee or Brandon Rush - solid role players that can help now as well as a couple of years - would have been workable.

In short, after two years of hard work to join the NBA's exclusive list of elites, the Bulls are back to square one. We all know how fans feel - they're PO'ed - but one must wonder what the Bulls' core players are thinking. It seems to me that motivation, etcetera, could be an issue when the season is proclaimed a wash by the end of July.

If you haven't got the message yet, Bulls fans, don't expect much, as it'll only result in more disappointment.

Almost forgot: Radmanovic isn't very good, but he is a decent three pointer shooter (career 38 percent from deep). He'll obviously be expected to fill the void left open by the departure of long-range sniper Kyle Korver, who's now with the Atlanta Hawks.

Cap space issues 101: Larry Coon, author of the NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement FAQ and a writer for ESPN, the New York Times and HOOPSWORLD.com, does an excellent job of explaining the Bulls cap issues here (scroll down, it's on the right side under Chicago Game Night). Thanks to Nick Friedell, Bulls beat reporter for ESPN, for the link.

Notes: John Lucas III is close to a deal with the Toronto Raptors….. Ronnie Brewer is talking with the T-Wolves and Knicks.

Sources: Kaplan: Bulls agree to deal with Vladimir Radmanović, CSN-Chicago; Vladimir Radmanovic player profile, Yahoo! Sports; Vladimir Radmanovic player profile, BasketballReference,com;

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.

More Chicago Bulls articles by Steve:

Chicago Bulls News & Notes: A Fan's View (July 18)

Butler Shines in Chicago Bulls' SL Opener: A Fan's View (July 18)

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