Contracts the Chicago Bulls Are Most Excited to Have Off Their Books

Andres MonteroContributor IApril 2, 2013

Rip's injury problems could lead to the Bulls cutting him after this season
Rip's injury problems could lead to the Bulls cutting him after this seasonBruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Chicago Bulls have a number of expiring contracts this upcoming offseason, and there are definitely some they'll be glad to have off their books.

Free agents include Vladimir Radmanovic, Nazr Mohammed, Daequan Cook, Nate Robinson, Marco Belinelli and possibly Rip Hamilton.

Some of these players should be considered for the future, though, and shouldn't be written off after this year. Belinelli has played extremely well and could even start next season if the Bulls choose to re-sign him. He's even expressed that he would like to remain with the team past this year.

Robinson has also been a surprise, but the way he's played could make other teams pay a little extra to acquire him.

Then there are players like Radmanovic and Mohammed who haven't performed very well or have yet to play any significant minutes.

So which of these players are the Bulls ready to part ways with?


Vladimir Radmanovic

Vlad Rad was perhaps the biggest waste of the Bulls' 2012 offseason.

Many expected him to come in and be able to give the Bulls' second unit a new look with his ability to stretch the floor. He could open things up inside for Carlos Boozer or allow for more room for cuts towards the paint.

Instead, Radmanovic has played in just 21of 72 games and scored a total of 20 points.

His biggest strength is his ability to shoot the three, making opposing bigs have to play him on the perimeter. But in the few games he's played, he's made only four three-pointers on 21 attempts.

If the Bulls don't re-sign Radmanovic—which they shouldn't—they would be able to sign a serviceable backup center like Jermaine O'Neal.


Nazr Mohammed

Brought to replace Omer Asik, Mohammed disappointed for a large portion of the season by either not playing or just not being very productive while on the floor.

However, after Noah's most recent injury, he's played a lot better—making good passes, finishing around the rim and playing solid defense.

There is a chance the Bulls re-sign him, but his age and level of productivity will most likely put him back on the market.

Malcolm Thomas is a young player with a lot of upside who could prove to be a solid backup if given the chance.

If the Bulls part ways with Mohammed, Thomas would add good depth to the frontcourt and could turn into a solid player under Tom Thibodeau.


Rip Hamilton

In his two seasons with the team, Hamilton has missed 65 games. This year specifically, he wasn't very consistent when on the court, averaging just 10 points per game on 43-percent shooting.

The Bulls have an option on Hamilton's contract next year, and it would be very surprising if they picked it up.

Now, his contract wouldn't be completely off the books as he has a guaranteed $1 million due, but releasing him would still free up enough room to give Belinelli a good offer and keep him on the team.

The emergence of Jimmy Butler is another big factor. His consistent improvement gives the Bulls depth at the 2, a position that they've struggled with the past few years.

The Bulls have better options currently on the team than Hamilton. Letting him go and freeing up some cap room would be the smartest move for the team.

With the right moves during the 2013 offseason, the Bulls could potentially add some good pieces to make a championship run, especially since Derrick Rose should be fully recovered from his ACL injury.

Letting Hamilton go can lead to a multi-year deal for Belinelli, who would give the Bulls the 2-guard they've been looking for. Adding some frontcourt depth would also help since the Bulls are a bit thin at the center spot.

It all starts with freeing up some cap space, though. If the Bulls make the right decisions on these players, it could lead to a better overall team.


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