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Bulls Biggest Off-season Question


The biggest question the Bulls will be faced with this off-season is to re-sign or not to re-sign Ben Gordon? There are positives and negatives for each decision the Bulls could make.

Let’s start with the positives. Gordon has been the Bulls leading scorer for the last three seasons. He carried the Bulls in parts of the epic playoff series against the Boston Celtics. He seems to have built chemistry with Derrick Rose and is just the shooter Rose needs to open the lane. Gordon was in the top 25 in points per game, free throw shooting percentage and 3-point shooting percentage. In the clutch, he has come through time and time again ever since he put a Bulls jersey on. In the playoff series with the Celtics he came up with big shot after big shot.

The above reasons all have to do with offense and only one aspect of offense, scoring. In reality Gordon is an undersized two guard whose only claim to fame is scoring. He is listed at 6’3” which is probably a bit of a gift. Gordon struggles on the defensive end against bigger guards in the league. He is not a good ball handler by any stretch of the imagination. Averaging three assists per a game over his career, Gordan is not a player looking to create opportunities to score for his teammates. Even though he hits some of the toughest shots, his shot selection is sub par. When he gets in the zone his teammates tend to defer to him and watch as he takes contested, off-balance shots. The main one being Rose who when aggressive is almost unstoppable.

If the Bulls let Gordon test free agency they can see what the market is for a player who just scores the ball. The two deals he turned down in the previous two seasons might be the best that he’ll be offered. Today a rumor came out that the Pistons would be willing to pay him $11 million per year. If that is the case the Bulls should let him go. The Bulls have plenty of options to fill Gordon’s starting role. They could move John Salmons to the two spot and a healthy Deng would start at the three. That would clear up the question the Bulls never had to answer last year which was who starts when Deng returns? The Bulls could also keep Hinrich who is there best perimeter defender and defense is not exactly the Bulls strong suit. Hinrich also played well in stretches of their playoff series when he was relieving Gordon or Rose.

Gordon has already turned down two offers of five years $50 million plus offers. He believes since he has been the Bulls leading scorer for the past couple years that he deserves to be the Bulls highest paid player. The Bulls currently highest paid player is Luol Deng who last year signed a six-year $71 million contract. To top Deng the Bulls would have to give Gordon almost $12 million a year. Over paying for Gordon would be the Bulls biggest mistake. They can find a shooter in this years draft most likely with the second of their two first-round picks. At pick 26, a number of quality shooters with more size are expected to be available. Chase Buddinger, Wayne Ellington and Jermaine Taylor all have more size than Gordon and have 3-point range.

-Matt Fox

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