Saying goodbye to an old friend is never easy. So pardon Bulls fans if they can’t hide a quick sniffle as they bode farewell to not one, but several old pals from Chicago’s “bench mob.”
Whether you’re feeling a little down on your luck, or insisting “on with the show,” the time has come to embrace some newer, no less friendly faces.
CSN reporter Aggrey Smith tweeted that Marco Belinelli’s alleged deal with Chicago, thought to be one year at the bi-annual exception for $1.9 million, is complete.
The six-foot-five inch former New Orleans Hornet is known for his sweet-shooting from the perimeter, with a 39.3% career average from 3pt range.
Belinelli is a good ball handler and has decent mobility for his size, but rarely attacks the rim or draws fouls.
His defensive skill are rated as average, as his strength and leaping ability are both below the NBA standard.
Belinelli, 26, compares favorably to a 31-year-old Kyle Korver, the long-range threat Chicago dealt to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for a $5 million trade exception.
Gar Forman, John Paxson and the Chicago Bulls front office made out like bandits in what amounts to a Korver for Bellenelli swap.
Although Korver is an excellent shooter and a fan favorite in Chicago, Belinelli possesses a similarly sweet stroke from outside, and at the ripe age of 26, is still a year from the typical NBA player’s prime and may yet improve, particularly on defense where he figures to be whipped into shape by defensive guru Tom Thibodeau.
Belinelli will join a group of newbies: Vadamir Radmanovic, Nazr Mohammed (reportedly all set to sign a one-year, $1.4 million deal) first-round pick Marquis Teague, and familiar face Kirk Hinrich on a new-look Bulls roster in 2012-2013.
The Bulls are not done yet, as they reportedly are still among the teams interested in signing former Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Randy Foye.
Bulls summer-leaguer Malcolm Thomas played extremely well in Las Vegas and is said to be drawing interest from several teams including Chicago. The Bulls are looking to sign the six-foot-nine inch forward who reminds some of Taj Gibson, on in a one-year deal.
Notes and Dunks: With the official signing of Hinrich and Radmanovic, and the expected signing of Belinelli and Mohammed the Bulls will decline Omer Asik’s three-year, $25.1 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets. Chicago is hard-capped at $74.3 million, and thus can no longer add Asik’s contract. The Bulls will be paying the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history.
Adam Jun covers the Chicago Bulls for Skyword, Inc. a search-driven media website.
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