Reserve guard Aaron Brooks will return to the Bulls on a one-year deal, according to sources.
Brooks averaged 11.6 points and 3.2 assists in playing all 82 games for the Bulls last season, starting 21 games due to various injury absences. Brooks made the veteran’s minimum last season but he’ll earn more than that in 2015-16.
There was speculation the Bulls would go for a bigger guard who could possess the ability to play both guard spots as opposed to just one, but when the market dried up after a few targets signed above-average deals, it didn’t leave the luxury-tax paying Bulls with many options, and a return engagement with Brooks was an easy choice.
[MORE: Pacers, Bucks gain ground on Bulls in free agency]
Brooks scored 20 or more seven times last season, including a 31-point performance against the 76ers in Philadelphia where he sent the game into overtime with a leaning baseline triple.
The 6-foot guard struggled in the playoffs as Derrick Rose carried a heavier workload and opposing point guards began to overwhelm him with their size, leading to the thought of the Bulls breaking away from the pattern of smaller backup point guards (Brooks, D.J. Augustin, Nate Robinson).
With Kirk Hinrich exercising his option to return, the Bulls will keep essentially the same team intact barring any unforeseen personnel move—which can never be counted out.
The Bulls still have 26-year old guard E’Twaun Moore as a reserve, and they hope he’ll make a push for more minutes under Fred Hoiberg.
The Bulls announced Thursday that further testing on Luke Kornet's injured ankle has revealed a "severe sprain and fracture of his fifth metatarsal." He's expected to miss six-to-eight weeks.
With just six-and-a-half weeks (and 23 games) remaining in the Bulls' season, this timeline could mark the end of his campaign. Kornet sprained his ankle at a practice on Feb. 21 and has sported a walking boot and crutches ever since.
If Kornet doesn't return before April 15, it's a somber end to what was an up-and-down season. After signing a two-year, $4.5 million contract with the Bulls last offseason, Kornet struggled with a sinus affliction that ultimately required sinus obstruction surgery back in November. He missed five games following the operation and fell out of the rotation in lieu of Daniel Gafford shortly thereafter.
But he resurfaced in January in light of injuries to Wendell Carter Jr. and Gafford. In 17 games between Jan. 11 and Feb. 20, Kornet made 14 starts, averaging 9.8 points and 3.5 rebounds on 47.4% field goal shooting in 23.2 minutes per game.
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Mark Carman, Jim Litke, and Jason Goch join Laurence on the panel.
0:00 - The Bulls frantic comeback falls short but Coby White has another 30-point game. So why isn't he starting? And was the game a "great loss"?
14:00 - JJ Stankevitz joins Laurence to talk about Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace's comments from the NFL Combine. Plus, why would Ryan Pace consider making Cordarrelle Patterson a running back on the team's depth chart?
Listen to the full podcast here or via the embedded player below: