In case you missed it amidst tonight's flurry of free agent rumors, the Bulls are making Kirk Hinrich their top free agent target, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Johnson has more in a full report, adding that Hinrich will command most, if not all, of the team's $3MM mini mid-level exception. Hinrich may not be altogether exciting for Bulls fans, but they haven't stopped their pursuit of others, including Brandon Roy, and GM Gar Forman left open the possibility the team could match the Rockets' backloaded offer for Omer Asik, which will be officially tendered on July 11th. "I'm not going to talk about any type of negotiation or anything contractually until we see something," the GM said. "We've made it clear we value Omer and it's been our goal that Omer would stay with the Bulls." Johnson has more out of Chicago, and we've got the highlights here:
- Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau was in Los Angeles to meet with Asik last weekend, but the team's proposal of a four-year deal didn't include annual salaries on par with the $8.3MM per year over three seasons that Houston is set to offer, Johnson reports.
- Johnson lays out three possible courses of action regarding Asik: The Bulls could try to trade starting center Joakim Noah before the deadline to match Asik's offer or pursue a sign-and-trade with the Rockets. They could also try to trade either Noah or Asik after matching the offer.
- Thibodeau has spoken with Brandon Roy by phone. The team has contacted Derek Fisher's agent and have kept an open dialogue with John Lucas III.
- Assistant coach Rick Brunson has left to take a job on new Bobcats head coach Mike Dunlap's staff.