Bulls

Plenty of two-guards available on trade market

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Plenty of two-guards available on trade market

With the latest injury suffered by Rip Hamilton Monday night, you have to wonder whether Bulls general manager Gar Forman will consider making a trade for some shooting guard insurance before the March 15 deadline. Problem is, the Bulls don't want to tap in to their big man depth with Omer Asik and Taj Gibson, and they don't want to add salary for upcoming years when they're likely to be above the luxury tax line.

So, the odds of a deal are small, unless the Bulls can find a team that's willing to trade their expiring deal for your expiring deal, something like Kyle Korver for Jamal Crawford or Nick Young. Now granted, the Bulls would probably have to throw in a first-round draft pick to make either of those trades happen and given their luxury tax concerns in upcoming years, it's unlikely they would want to give up picks that could add low salaried bench players.

I poured over NBA rosters to see which guards might be available in the trade market, and here's the list I came up with (as requested by my friend Matt Spiegel at The Score):

Stephen Jackson
Eric Bledsoe
Brandon Rush
Monta Ellis
Mike Dunleavy, Jr.
Carlos Delfino
Anthony Parker
O.J. Mayo
Shannon Brown
Daniel Gibson
Rodney Stuckey
Raja Bell
Francisco Garcia
Michael Redd
James Anderson
Ray Allen
Quentin Richardson
Mikael Pietrus
John Salmons
Ben Gordon
Landry Fields
Xavier Henry
Toney Douglas
Nick Young
Wayne Ellington
Josh Howard
Kirk Hinrich
JJ Redick
Anthony Morrow
Courtney Lee
Rudy Fernandez
Tracy McGrady
Jerryd Bayless
Leandro Barbosa
Wesley Johnson
Jamal Crawford
Corey Maggete
Wesley Johnson

We can eliminate most of the names pretty quickly. The Bulls don't have the assets to make a run at Monta Ellis, Ray Allen, O.J. Mayo or Rodney Stuckey and they wouldn't be willing to take on the remaining years on the contracts of guys like Stephen Jackson, Ben Gordon, Anthony Morrow and Wesley Matthews.

So what's left is mostly a collection of overpaid veterans like Mike Dunleavy, J.J. Redick, Corey Maggette and John Salmons; guys near the end of their careers like Tracy McGrady, Anthony Parker, Michael Redd, Quentin Richardson, Josh Howard and Raja Bell; or players who haven't come close to reaching their college potential like Toney Douglas, Jerryd Bayless, Eric Bledsoe, Brandon Rush, Shannon Brown, Francisco Garcia, James Anderson, Xavier Henry, Wayne Ellington and Wesley Johnson.

Who does that leave? The Bulls could make a run at Jamal Crawford, who isn't expected to exercise his player option for next season, or Kirk Hinrich, whose contract expires at the end of the season. Or, they could try to swing a deal for players with expiring deals like Leandro Barbosa, Rudy Fernandez or Nick Young.

Bottom line, don't expect the Bulls to make any moves before March 15. They're confident a healthy Rip Hamilton gives them their best chance to match up against the Heat come playoff time.

Bulls Talk Podcast: The ultimate Bulls briefing to get you ready for Opening Night

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USA TODAY

Bulls Talk Podcast: The ultimate Bulls briefing to get you ready for Opening Night

On this edition of the Bulls Talk podcast, Mark Schanowski sits down with Kendall Gill and Will Perdue to discuss all the need-to-know topics to get you ready for the season opener. The guys analyze how Lauri’s injury will make its mark on the early season rotation, whether Jabari will return to the starting unit or embrace the 6th-man role and why Portis betting on himself is the right move. Plus, Kendall has the key to unlock a “6th Man of the Year” award for Portis this season.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below:

'Underdog' Tyler Ulis will fit in just fine with these Bulls

'Underdog' Tyler Ulis will fit in just fine with these Bulls

It's been a whirlwind of a summer for point guard Tyler Ulis, but he finally feels like he's found a home. Literally.

The 5-foot-9 point guard was cut by the Suns in late June, latched on with a training camp invite by the Warriors and was subsequently waived on Friday. It was then that Ulis, working out in California, received a call from his agent. He had been claimed on waivers by the Chicago Bulls. His hometown Bulls.

"I grew up watching (the Bulls)," he said after his first practice on Tuesday. "Growing up in this city, you always want to be a Bull and you’re always willing and hoping that you’ll be here one day...I'm home now. It's a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to it."

Ulis is back in Chicago for the first time since he was breaking records for Marian Catholic High School. Ulis became a five-star recruit for the Spartans and in 2014 signed on as the next point guard in the long line of successful floor generals under John Calipari and Kentucky.

Ulis backed up the Harrison twins, Andrew and Aaron, as a freshman but saw his role increase as a sophomore. He blossomed, earning Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors in the SEC. Only Anthony Davis had ever earned both honors in a single season.

He declared for the 2016 NBA Draft with hopes of becoming a first-round pick. But unlike the Calipari point guards before him, Ulis slipped all the way down to the second round before the Phoenix Suns scooped him up with the 34th pick.

"Honestly I really did think (the Bulls) were going to draft me," Ulis said on Tuesday when recalling the 2016 NBA Draft. The Bulls took Denzel Valentine with the 14th pick. "But I'm here now so that's all that matters."

In 132 games, Ulis averaged 7.6 points and 4.1 assists in 21.1 minutes. He started 58 of those games, and while his shooting left plenty to be desired he handled the offense well and brought that same pesky defense he showed off at Kentucky. It wasn't enough, even for the guard-deprived Suns. They released Ulis before free agency this summer - which ruffled the feathers of franchise guard Devin Booker - in a rather unexpected move.

"My Mom always taught me (to) never expect anything," Ulis said of his release from the Suns. "When you're on a losing team like that anything can happen. I feel like I showed I could play at this level but they went a different way."

The Suns' loss - they may resort to starting 38-year-old Jamal Crawford at point guard this year - could be the Bulls' gain. Expectations should be harnessed for Ulis, especially with him joining the roster this late in the preseason, but the Bulls, like Phoenix, have question marks at the point.

Kris Dunn is entrenched as the starter, but Cameron Payne struggled mightily in the preseason and Ryan Arcidiacono doesn't project as a contributor. That leaves an opening for Ulis to potentially fill on the second unit, and apparently he's making a statement early in practice.

"Tyler had a real good practice," Fred Hoiberg said. "I think I think he changes the pace when he’s out there on the floor. He picks up full-court, he gets up underneath you. He can make a shot. He’s got good vision and can make a play with the ball in his hand. So I was very impressed with his first workout."

Ulis is working on a 45-day two-way contract, so it's unknown how much he'll contribute. He could be shuttled back and forth between Chicago and the Windy City Bulls, but there's certainly an opportunity for him to stick. He'll be playing catch-up and learning on the go, but doing so in his hometown wth friends and family around him for support will work to his advantage.

"Being a smaller guard growing up in a big man’s sport, you get looked over. So I’m the underdog," he said. "And I feel like this team is an underdog, so we should all be excited to get the season started and prove people wrong."