Buyout season is now in full swing, and the Bulls are apparently ready to strike. We've heard about their hesitance to sign a player for the rest of the season because of the threat of certain incentives possibly pushing them into the luxury tax, but K.C. Johnson says the Bulls are "comfortable" signing a player now and avoiding the tax.
K.C. says the Bulls are prepared to make a pitch to Caron Butler, who completed his buyout with the Bucks this morning. However, the Heat and Thunder are considered to be the frontrunners for Butler's services. Those teams would probably make more sense for the Bulls, as they're both legit title contenders and Butler has a familiarity with Miami.
Another name to keep a close eye on is Jimmer Fredette. The former lottery pick and the Kings are nearing a buyout agreement, and ESPN's Marc Stein calls the Bulls a "dark horse" candidate to sign him.
[Note by JayPatt, 02/28/14 9:55 PM CST USA Today's Sam Amick reports that Jimmer has told the Bulls that he will indeed sign with them if he clears waivers on Saturday. Rejoice! ]
Fredette never really got any consistent time in Sacramento, but he does have a skill the Bulls could really use: shooting. Jimmer is shooting 49.3 percent from three this season, and is a shade over 40 percent for his career. A reserve backcourt of Jimmer and D.J. Augustin could be pretty fun, although Tom Thibodeau would have to ensure the rest of the lineup would be filled with defensive stalwarts. So how about a potential lineup of D.J./Jimmer/Jimmy/Taj/Jo? I'd be game. Perhaps "The Point-Guard Whisperer" could work his magic again.
As for other names that have been linked to the Bulls, Glen Davis has signed with the Clippers and it looks like Danny Granger is headed to Los Angeles as well. Shannon Brown signed with the disastrous Knicks, while there really haven't been any more rumblings about Antawn Jamison and Ben Gordon. [Note by JayPatt, 02/27/14 4:44 PM CST And now we DO have a Ben Gordon rumor. ESPN's Ramona Shelburne says Bulls, Clippers and Rockets are pitching Gordon on a two-year deal with team option for next year.]