The Chicago Bulls need to make some moves this offseason, so perhaps it is time to explore free agency and look to the Charlotte Hornets for some ideas.
The Chicago Bulls are in desperate need of a makeover. And signing a free agent would certainly be a step in the right direction.
The 2016 free agent class is stacked with talent. From veterans like Jamal Crawford to young bucks like Hassan Whiteside and even Bulls players Aaron Brooks, Pau Gasol, E’Twaun Moore and Joakim Noah … there are plenty of guys to try and acquire.
Of course, Chicago does have a few things working against them.
First and foremost, it is no secret that the organization has dealt with their fair share of drama this past season.
Starting out with the way in which the front office fired former head coach Tom Thibodeau, things only spiraled further out of control when Derrick Rose said his focus was becoming a free agent in 2017, Noah was benched and Jimmy Butler spoke out against new head coach Fred Hoiberg.
Beyond that, after only one year, it is clear to see that Hoiberg runs plays for a very specific type of ball.
While he is certainly not the only coach to do so, at this point, his system does not necessarily fit into the world of professional basketball very well; what may worked for him in college hoops has not been so successful so far with the Bulls.
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And of course, there is the issue of money. One cannot sign a free agent without making an enticing financial offer and for now, Chicago is over the salary cap. However, this is set to change in July.
Obviously, the organization has to deal with the current team first. In other words, the likes of will Noah and Gasol re-sign, what will happen to Rose and Butler, and so on.
They should also be trying to figure out who to acquire in the 2016 NBA Draft, as the Bulls have the No. 14 pick.
But when it does come time to looking at available free agents, who should Chicago have on their radar?
Well, how about Jeremy Lin? He’s a 27-year-old who has had quite the NBA ride.
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Although he was born in Los Angeles, he is of Chinese and Taiwanese background; Lin is the first of such descent to play in the league and one only a handful of Asian Americans in the NBA period.
Coming out of Harvard University, he went undrafted in 2010, but made his debut into professional basketball that year anyway when he was signed by the Golden State Warriors.
Since then, he has bounced around to a total of five league teams, two D-League squads and also played overseas in China with the Dongguan Leopards.
Lin did not take a traditional path to the NBA, but nevertheless ended up making headlines in 2012 when he played for the New York Knicks.
After seemingly coming out of nowhere to average 14.6 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.2 assists and 1.6 steals a game that season, the media named him “Linsanity.” Everyone was certain he would be a superstar from that point on, but unfortunately that was not the case.
Lin did not develop as well under head coach Mike Woodson and when the Knicks did not match an offer that the Houston Rockets had put on the table, he signed with the Texas team.
Over his two years there, Lin averaged 12.5 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists and 1.3 steals per matchup. However, he was inconsistent, at times showing signs of the old Linsanity and at others losing his spot to backup guard Toney Douglas.
He did not exceed nor even really meet the expectations that the Rockets organization had when they signed him and Lin was ultimately traded to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Naturally, his numbers dropped yet again and he was left with averaging 11.2 points, 2.6 rebounds, 4.6 assists and 1.1 steals a contest.
That summer, he once again relocated, signing with Charlotte. And although he only started 13 games for them and averaged 11.7 points, 3.2 rebounds and 3.0 assists per game, he seemingly found his groove again.
This was especially true in the postseason, when the Hornets battled it out to Game 7 with the Miami Heat.
In the right situation, Lin can certainly flourish. He has the ability to put up big numbers offensively, and still do his part on defense as well. He has the mentality of a fighter, and never gives up on the hustle; and this is true whether starting or coming off the bench.
He can be a leader if needed, but also understands how to be productive as a backup, a trait that is not so commonly found.
And given that he no longer has the nation’s attention as he once did in New York, it is more than likely that he would agree to a reasonable salary. The Bulls could use some help at point guard, and if they can figure it out without spending too much to boot, that would be ideal.