Bulls

Sources: Bulls targeting Hamilton

608904.png

Sources: Bulls targeting Hamilton

Updated: 11:26 p.m.

Sources with knowledge of the Bulls free-agency plans confirmed to CSNChicago.com Friday evening that the Bulls are targeting recently waived veteran shooting guard Rip Hamilton. The organization's pursuit of the longtime Piston was first reported by the Chicago Tribune.

What appears to be an increasingly imminent addition to the roster coincides with Friday's decision to hold incumbent starter Keith Bogans out of the team's first practice on the opening day of training camp. Bogans was apparently upset with the decision, but in a statement released by the Bulls, general manager Gar Forman didn't rule out the return of Bogans, for whom the team holds a 1.73 million option for the season.

Hamilton was bought out by the Pistons earlier Friday and with other options headed elsewhere -- Caron Butler, who visited the Berto Center this week, signed with the Clippers, and Vince Carter, waived by the Suns, reportedly signed with Dallas -- the veteran might be Chicago's most realistic candidate to upgrade the team's perimeter firepower.

Players such as Jamal Crawford and Jason Richardson could command more money on the free-agent market than the mid-level exception the Bulls would be poised to offer.

Meanwhile, another free agent, Kurt Thomas, also remains in limbo. According to a source, the oldest player in the league is seeking the veteran minimum, which would be 1.35 million for a player with 10 years or more service in the NBA.

While Thomas would prefer to return to Chicago, other teams -- such as the size-deficient Trail Blazers, his hometown Mavericks and the Heat, the team which drafted him out of college -- are interested in acquiring him.

Outside of veteran journeyman Brian Scalabrine (who was invited to camp under a non-guaranteed contract; Chicago native Luther Head, another non-guaranteed invite, was apparently a no-show Friday), the Bulls don't have another big man behind starters Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer, and young reserves Taj Gibson and Omer Asik.

Monte Harrison, brother to Bulls' Shaq, makes sibling sports history

Monte Harrison, brother to Bulls' Shaq, makes sibling sports history

Miami Marlins center fielder Monte Harrison made a bit of history on Aug. 4, when he laced up for his first ever MLB game.

With his debut, he and older brother Shaq officially became just the sixth MLB-NBA brother duo in league history. The most recent? Klay and Trayce Thompson, the latter of which appeared in his last MLB game on June 20, 2018 for the White Sox. Chicago ties all around.


Click to download the MyTeams App for the latest Bulls news and analysis.

Shaq used his trademark brand of heart and hustle to work his way up from two 10-day contracts with the Phoenix Suns to a multi-year pact with the Bulls. Monte's path to the majors began in 2014 after the Milwaukee Brewers plucked him in the second round of the Amateur Draft from Lee's Summit West High School in Lee's Summit, Mo. He was jettisoned to Miami as part of the Christian Yelich trade in 2018. 

In 2019, Monte played 58 games between Miami's High-A and Triple-A affiliates, slashing .270/.351/.441 with 9 home runs, 24 RBI and 23 stolen bases. He's been known to flash some leather, too, and entered this season the club's tenth-ranked prospect.

Since his call-up, he's appeared in four contests (three starts) with the Marlins, and is just 1-for-10 at the plate with five strikeouts. But we'll forgive some early-career stumbles. His first big-league base-knock, which came on Thursday, was perfectly emblematic of what Bulls fans have come to expect from the Harrison household.

Yup. A cue-shot infield single. Exit velocity: 44.3 mph. Expected batting average: .190. But he beat it out. And followed it up with a stolen base. You can't script this stuff.

"I don’t know what my mother did, a lot of prayers, a lot of believing, and trust in us," Monte said after his debut on Tuesday, via Bob Nightengale. "We just worked our ass off.''

That much is evident.

RELATED: How Bulls’ Shaq Harrison impacts games, even with limited playing time

SUBSCRIBE TO THE BULLS TALK PODCAST FOR FREE.

Latest on the NBA's second bubble for teams eliminated from restart

Latest on the NBA's second bubble for teams eliminated from restart

With the NBA restarting with 22 of its 30 teams, there was buzz in early July of a second bubble coming to Chicago for the eight teams excluded to get in organized team activities and possibly scrimmages.

Now, it appears those talks have significantly slowed, if not stalled entirely.

The Athletic reported Tuesday that there is "significant doubt" the second bubble concept will come to fruition, but Friday, that bringing the "Delete Eight" teams into the Disney campus has been discussed. Any agreement — whether it be a full-on bubble or respective, in-market OTAs — would require stringent safety protocols and need to be agreed upon by the league and NBPA.

On the most recent episode of the Bulls Talk Podcast, NBC Sports Chicago Bulls insider K.C. Johnson broke down the latest scuttlebut:

Well, the latest is, you really got only one shared goal between these eight teams and that is to get some kind of formal group activities authorized by the league and the players association.

How that plays out and the form that takes, there are different goals. There are some teams that wouldn't mind doing a bubble. There are other teams that would rather stay in their own practice facilities and not travel. There are other teams that want to do regional scrimmages against another team. And complicating this is that Michele Roberts, the executive director of the players association, is on record as saying: Unless there are the exact same safety protocols going on in Orlando for the second bubble, it's a non-starter for her.

The league's attention mostly has been in Orlando, obviously, and that was a signficant financial undertaking. So you'd also have to factor in that, what kind of financial undertaking would they commit to these eight teams. It did look like there was some positive momentum for, not a bubble, but for each team to be able to hold some sort of offseason training sessions, group sessions in their own facilities, like OTAs in the NFL.

And I don't think that's dead, but there's certainly not as much optimism as there was maybe a week, ten days ago for that. I mean, it's fluid, and there's nothing definitive yet, but you may be staring at that dreaded eight month window between formal group activities for these eight teams. 

In the episode, the crew also breaks down the week in NBA bubble action, talks Jim Boylen and more. Listen here or via the embedded player below: