Bulls Notes: Gasol, Butler, Point Guards

With Kirk Hinrich out indefinitely with a chest injury, the Bulls are hoping that Derrick Rose can return to action by this Monday, or else the team will consider signing another point guard, K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune reports (Twitter link). Rose has been sidelined with ankle woes leaving Aaron Brooks the only healthy point guard on the team. Chicago currently has only 14 players on its roster so no additional move would be required for the team to add another body.

Here’s more from the Windy City:

  • One of the best free agent signings of the summer not involving a player named LeBron James was the Bulls locking up Pau Gasol on a three-year, $22.3MM deal. Gasol left Los Angeles because he felt that he needed a change of scenery, Steve Aschburner of NBA.com writes. “Just a gut feeling that I needed to move on,” Gasol said. “I needed something different. I needed to be in a different position where I could be assimilated, where I could be motivated every single day, where I could be rejuvenated.”
  • Besides his on-court production, Gasol is also paying dividends in his mentoring of rookie Nikola Mirotic, Aschburner adds. “All the things Nikola is going through, Pau has gone through,” Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said. “More importantly, it’s what he does. There are a lot of guys who say all the right things and do none of them. Pau does all the right things. He comes in every day, takes care of himself. He studies. He prepares. He practices hard, he practices well, and then he goes out there and he executes. And he plays for the team — he’s not one of those guys pounding his chest, ‘Look at me, look at me.’ He’s one of those guys who’s ‘Let’s look at the team.’
  • In his weekly mailbag, Sam Smith of NBA.com opined that Jimmy Butler should have accepted the Bulls’ extension offer despite how well Butler is currently performing. Smith cites Butler’s young age and the need for long-term security, using Jay Williams’ career-ending injury as an example of how quickly things can change. Smith also added that it would be different if Butler had already had a big money deal during his career, but since he is only being paid rookie scale wages, taking the eight-figure deal would have been the safer play.

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