Lucas Eyes Bulls Amid Widespread Interest

Free agent guard John Lucas III has had inquiries from the Thunder, Pacers, and Grizzlies, but the player has declined those opportunities, Shams Charania of RealGM reports. Lucas has also received offers from teams in the Chinese Basketball Association, but the short-term nature of all the offers is what led him to pass on them, adds Charania. Lucas is believed to be hoping to ultimately return to the Bulls on a deal later this season, Charania notes.

Bernie Lee, Lucas’ agent, offered a slightly different take, telling Charania, “John has received interest from different teams, but to say he has declined any formal offers would be inaccurate. John is in a situation, after a crazy summer, of trying to make the right decision versus any decision, but he is willing to prove himself as requested. John owes a tremendous amount of his value in the NBA to the opportunity Chicago’s front office gave him there initially. Over time, it’s become clear that [GM] Gar Forman has a unique ability to find value in obscure places: He signed John out of China, and he might be the best in the NBA at this. In some ways John was at the beginning of this.”

Lee confirmed the offers from the CBA, saying, “I have not had a single conversation with Gar about John since John left. The different situations just haven’t lined up. Gar has found various ways to replace the role John left including this year and John has been under contract since leaving. I do have every belief that John will resume his NBA career soon, but to date the only opportunities John has declined have been lucrative money offers with Jilin in China earlier in the year and Fujian on Wednesday.

Lucas, who has been working out in Houston since he was waived by the Wizards, would seem to be a logical target for all three of the NBA teams previously mentioned in light of their early season injury woes. But the 31-year-old out of Oklahoma State had the most success as a player for Chicago during the 2011/12 season, notes Charania. Lucas had four 20-point efforts that season, and averaged 7.5 PPG and 2.2 APG overall.

Chicago currently has 14 players on its roster, so no additional moves would need to be made in order to sign Lucas, but for now the interest would appear to be one-sided, with the Bulls already having Derrick Rose, Aaron Brooks, and Kirk Hinrich on their depth chart at the point.

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