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Chicago Bulls offseason: 3rd center to be decided by camp competition

reminder that this also means...Nazr is the backup


[Update by your friendly BullsBlogger, 09/11/13 8:26 AM CDT: Marc Stein reported late Tuesday that former Bull Mike James also will be signed for training camp. Aggrey Sam says he wouldn't be shocked if James makes the team. I'd personally be shocked. ]

Guys, we sure had fun kicking around the dregs of NBA free agent bigs these past few weeks, right? Some, um, real names out there*...

Gar Forman seems to be giving up on the search though, and instead his team will have a camp battle under (presumed) unsigned players, as he told Joe Cowley of the Sun-Times (via HoopsRumors):

according to Bulls general manager Gar Forman, with the Bulls currently at 12 guaranteed contracts, the plan is to “bring some guys into camp and let them compete. There hasn’t been anything we’ve wanted to jump on [in free agency], so we’ll let some guys compete for one or two spots.’’

We already know one of those guys is Dexter Pittman, and we can assume another will be Malcolm Thomas. I also assume Chris Richard still lives in his personal shantytown beneath the floorboards of the Berto Center, so him too.

This really only matters if there is a guy out there deserving of a guaranteed deal who wouldn't settle for such a 'competition'. I think a couple are out there, but we'll see how it shakes out. Yes, we're talking about a situation where you probably won't even find someone better than Nazr Mohammed anyway, but: the Bulls are trying to win the NBA title and want to have the best roster to do that and stuff. So even marginal improvement in the backup bigs would be nice. If there's an injury midseason there will potentially be even less out there.

*There has been some Michael Beasley discussion on this here site, but it didn't really mean all that much considering he was still a member of the Suns. However, now that he has officially been waived, Beasley talk is a little more relevant. Bulls Confidential's Doug Thonus laid out his case for at least giving B-Easy a call, saying it may be better to take a chance on a guy with more "upside" like Beasley (or even Tyrus Thomas) as opposed to somebody like Malcolm Thomas. Also on this week's Bulls Beat podcast, Doug thinks Drew Gooden is a fairly good option since the Bulls don't even need "upside" as much as someone who won't screw up. And Gooden can likely still do a poor-man's Boozer impression if called upon.

[JayPatt contributed to this post -yfbb]