Some things just aren’t meant to last. For the Bench Mob it looks like after two years they found their expiration date.
Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson did not have their respect options picked up by the team. However according to the K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Brewer said he could be brought back at a cheaper salary.
Backup center Omer Asik has agreed to sign a three-year offer sheet with the Houston Rockets. The deal is worth $25.1 million with a balloon payment of over $14 million due in the third year. Once the offer is officially signed the Bulls will have three days to decide if they will match the offer.
Three-point specialist, Kyle Korver, is also being shopped according to ESPN. Minnesota could be his final destination but according to the Chicago Sun times Atlanta is also interested as well. The Bulls have till Sunday to decide if they will pick up his option.
Also John Lucas III said on ESPN 1000 AM this week that he is considering and has been contacted by the Miami Heat.
The only member of the group who remains is forward Taj Gibson, who just finished helping Team USA prepare for the Olympics as a member of the Select Team.
I actually wrote an article shortly after the Bulls were eliminated from the playoffs, saying that all this was possible.
The drafting of Marquis Teague and bringing back former Bull, Kirk Hinrich, have already replaced Watson and Lucas.
Brewer’s replacement was already on the roster in the form of Jimmy Butler, who showed flashes during his rookie campaign. In fact if Butler put on a Brewer jersey people may not notice since both are listed at 6’7″, 201 lbs and are athletic wing defenders.
With Korver and Asik it is a little more complicated. They don’t have replacements on the roster for them but there are some cheaper options available on the market.
Michael Redd might not be the pure shooter that Korver is but he could prove to be a big upgrade if he is healthy. From 2003 to 2009 he had six straight seasons of scoring 20 or more points per game.
While Jordan Hill may not be a true
seven footer, he will come cheaper than Asik and potentially with my upside. At only 24 years of age he is two years younger and has already put up better numbers. Makes you wonder if the Rockets regret giving up Hill at the trade deadline this past year?
These departures may also lead to coach Tom Thibodeau relying on his starters more. Last season only Luol Deng and Derrick Rose averaged over 30 minutes a game.
If the Bulls decide not to match the Rockets offer to Asik, the trio of Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah and Gibson should be able to absorb his minutes easily.
With Korver, his minutes wouldn’t be hard to replace. They could probably find an overall more rounded player but replacing his three-point shooting will be difficult.
Now with all that being said Korver could be retained, Asik’s offer could be matched and Brewer could return to keep the group pretty much intact. If that were to happen the Bulls would remain a very deep team.
However even if they don’t they will still remain a deep team, that is capable of weathering the storm while Rose is recovering from his torn ACL.
What do you think Bulls’ fans? Are you sad to see the Bench Mob go? Sound off Below