Free agency has officially kicked off, and while most expect the Bulls to be boring, they have been linked to a couple of interesting names. First for the ones that actually may be feasible. RealGM's Shams Charania reports that the Bulls have shown "significant interest" in Mo Williams and Will Bynum, and that there have been exploratory discussions with both.
Out of those two, Williams intrigues me the most. Both guys are primarily point guards, which the Bulls don't really need, but Williams seems to have more of an ability than Bynum to also play the 2. Williams shot 38.3 percent from three last year and is a career 38.6 percent shooter from deep. Last season in Utah, he averaged 12.9 points and 6.2 assists in 46 games (a thumb injury kept him out awhile). So he would add some nice shooting, a bit of ballhandling and some playmaking.
Of course, we have to factor in the financial side of things. Williams made $8.5 million last year, so the questionbecomes just how much of a pay cut is he willing to take? The Bulls could offer him the mini mid-level exception starting at $3.18 million, and while he may be willing to bite on that, would he do it when there's no guarantee of a lot of playing time?
Williams recently said he wouldn't re-sign with the Jazz unless he remained the starter, so he's clearly looking to play a major role wherever he lands. Perhaps he'd be willing to sacrifice his minutes a bit in order to play for a contender like the Bulls, but I'm not holding my breath.
In a more LOL-worthy rumor, CBS Sports' Ken Berger says that the Bulls put in a call about Bucks free agent Monta Ellis. The shooting guard recently just opted out of an $11 million deal, but supposedly he's willing to "compromise" in order to sign with a contender.
How could the Bulls get Monta to Chicago? Well there's always the MMLE, but that would be a pretty serious "compromise" from Ellis that I can't imagine he's willing to take at this point. The Bulls do have the $5 million Korver TPE, but they can't use that in a sign-and-trade unless other salary is cleared (trade a bigger contract, Boozer amnesty). The Bulls could also think about sign-and-trading for Ellis and sending Milwaukee a big contract like Luol Deng, however, I think that would be a god-awful terrible decision.
The idea of Ellis is nice, as he's a scorer who can get his own shot. However, he's undersized, really can't shoot the three and woefully inefficient. If he was actually willing to take the MMLE, I'd probably say come on down. But there's no way I'd want the Bulls to sacrifice another asset just to get him, although I'd consider the Boozer amnesty (won't happen). Same goes for Williams.
UPDATE: John Lucas III was mentioned a couple of days ago as a possible target (yuck), and K.C. Johnson brought JL3's name up again last night. Johnson also mentioned Roger Mason Jr. (double yuck) as a potential target.