The Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, said it best when identifying Chicago’s most glaring need. Simply put, an improved starting Bulls shooting guard.
“They met us in the Eastern Conference finals, and they were one player away from making it a very, very, very tough series,” Wade told ESPNChicago.com in August. “As a point guard, when you have to score so much, and have to make every big shot, and have to make all the passes, eventually it takes a toll on you throughout the season, no matter how phenomenal you are.
Bulls PG Derrick Rose needs help in the Bulls backcourt, particularly in the games’ final moments. A natural scorer that can create his own shot and possesses the rarefied NBA “clutch” gene. Despite his chronically bad knees, Brandon Roy fits that description nicely. The Portland Trailblazers incumbent free agent would be the ideal fit as the next Bulls shooting guard. It’s worth noting that if it weren’t for the aforementioned injury concerns, Roy’s all-world talent wouldn’t even be on the Bulls radar screen.
According to ESPN Chris Broussard, John Paxson and GM Gar Forman’s Christmas wish list begins with Roy. Broussard cited his sources when tweeting that Roy signing in Chicago would be the “Bulls dream and Heat’s nightmare.” The rest of the Bulls wish list includes Washington Wizards swing-man Josh Howard, Orlando Magic combo-guard Jason Richardson, Dallas Mavericks’ Caron Butler, Detroit Pistons’ Rip Hamilton and Denver Nuggets’ Arron Afflalo.
If Chicago hopes to land their no. 1 choice on the list, several things still have to go the Bulls way. For starters, the Portland Trail Blazers must use the new “amnesty” clause that allows teams to get out from underneath the financial constraints of a bad contract.
Roy appears to be a good candidate for the newly minted clause because his knees, which are now both without cartilages, are expected to considerably shorten his career. There has been no word yet from the Trail Blazers on their intent to use the amnesty clause.
Another hurdle figures to be the financial limitations the Bulls have. With big money tied to Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng and sizeable contracts divvied out to the team’s “bench mob,” the front office has a severe lack of funds to work with. Barring a trade, the Bulls will only be able to offer Roy the mid-level exception of $5 million.
According to ESPN Insider’s Nick Borges, teams will be lining up for Roy which would drive up the price for the 27-year-old’s services.
Obstacles aside, don’t yet rule out Roy identifying Chicago as the one destination most able to help him win an NBA Championship.
In the mean time, Bulls fans will certainly join John Paxson in dreaming that Roy will lace ‘em up as this season’s starting Bulls shooting guard.
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