Eight months ago, Rip Hamilton was going to be the difference maker for the Bulls. He would be the scoring guard that provided them with the offense they needed to put the whole package together. It was all set.
Then everything fell apart. Hamilton was rarely healthy during the regular season, and just when he got back and the Bulls were ready for the playoff run… well, you know what happened. Derrick Rose went down, the Bulls were eliminated, and now all of a sudden they’re retooling. They may not match on Omer Asik. They traded Kyle Korver to Atlanta (in principle). They let C.J. Watson go. They may let John Lucas III go.
And now they may ditch Rip Hamilton. From the Chicago Tribune:
Along these lines, league sources said the Bulls have shopped Richard Hamilton’s expiring $5 million deal, which carries a mere $1 million guarantee for 2013-14. Thus far, there have been no takers.
Hamilton’s contract has value, he has value as a player, and while he hasn’t gotten offers yet, closer to the deadline he likely will.
But this is yet another sign the Bulls are deconstructing.
After building a championship contender in 2010, an Eastern Conference Finals appearance, and winning the top seed in the East two years in a row, they’re blowing it up. This is the new NBA. Derrick Rose, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, and Joakim Noah with a great defense and excellent bench isn’t good enough. Especially when your owner hates paying the luxury tax.
The Bulls era may be ending before it ever began.