3:27pm: Forman confirmed that the Bulls would like to re-sign Augustin this summer, calling him “a fit” for the team, as K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune observes (Twitter link).
1:23pm: The Bulls and point guard D.J. Augustin have mutual interest in a new deal this summer, according to Shams Charania of RealGM. The Thad Foucher client only signed for the rest of 2013/14 when he joined the team in December, but Chicago has a strong desire to keep him, Charania writes. Augustin tells Charania that he’s hopeful of a return to the Bulls, echoing comments he made to reporters, including Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald (Twitter link), after last night’s playoff elimination at the hands of the Wizards.
Augustin joined the Bulls as a free agent in December after the Raptors had waived him to accommodate the trade that sent Rudy Gay to Sacramento. Toronto chose to cut ties with him and his one-year, $1.267MM deal even though it wasn’t much more than what fellow backup point guards Dwight Buycks and Julyan Stone were making. The move illustrated how far Augustin, the ninth overall pick in 2008, had fallen. The 26-year-old Augustin turned it around with a strong performance for Chicago, averaging 14.9 points, 5.0 assists and 1.9 turnovers in 30.4 minutes per game during the regular season. The scoring figure would be a career high if extrapolated over a full season.
Bulls GM Gar Forman and executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson have a busy offseason ahead. They’re in the running for Carmelo Anthony, and they appear likely to try to trade Carlos Boozer before the July 16th deadline to amnesty him. They’ll probably have to get Boozer off their books and make additional cap-clearing moves to have room for Anthony, and if they can’t hook Anthony, there’s a strong chance they’ll sign European star Nikola Mirotic. Augustin figures to be a secondary priority, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Bulls weigh him against combo guard Kirk Hinrich, who’s also a free agent. Hinrich told reporters again today of his preference to re-sign with the Bulls, as Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com notes (Twitter link).