The Chicago Bulls have been busy this summer as the team made their most recent off-season acquisition official.
The Bulls signed former Utah Jazz starter Ronnie Brewer to a three-year, $12.5 million contract that will likely vault Brewer into the Bulls starting lineup.
Brewer isn’t the only free agent to land with the Bulls this summer, as former Jazz star Carlos Boozer and Kyle Korver join forces in the Windy City. All of a sudden, Chicago has become the Jazz of the Midwest.
Boozer was the first big addition to the Bulls roster this summer. A consolation prize to losing out on such superstars as Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, and Chris Bosh all of whom signed with the Miami Heat, Boozer gives Chicago something they’ve lacked for years.
As the South Beach Trio gears up to play in Miami, the Chicago Bulls brass made certain to grab one of the other coveted free agents of the 2010 group and that came in the form of Boozer the ‘Bruiser.’ Boozer signed a giant contract–5-year, $80 million–to play in the Windy City and is extremely excited about the opportunity to play with Derrick Rose.
Boozer adds a healthy stat line (19.5 points, 11.2 rebounds) and a formidable low-post presence to a Bulls team that lacked a dominate low-post threat. His defense is porous at times, but that’s why adding him with a guy like Joakim Noah is so important. The loss of recent Bulls center Brad Miller to the Houston Rockets now makes the signing of Boozer even more critical.
The addition of Korver gives Chicago some much needed firepower from behind the 3-point arc. Despite scoring just over seven points a game for the Jazz in ’09-’10 he hit an astounding 53% of his 3-point shots, good for No. 1 in the NBA last season. Playing alongside a ferocious player like Rose who thrives on getting to the bucket, Korver will likely have plenty of chances to go for 55% from behind the arc.
Even with those two signings, the Bulls still needed more pieces to the puzzle to become a legitimate Eastern Conference contender. Brewer’s signing may just put Chicago over the edge.
Brewer gives the Bulls some much needed depth and athleticism from the guard position, traits they lacked the past two seasons. Now that former Bulls guard Kirk Hinrich has gone elsewhere—a draft day trade sent him to Washington—Brewer and starting point guard Derrick Rose form quite the back court duo. Brewer struggles from 3-point range, hitting just 26% of his attempted shots, but that’s not what Bulls management needs from him. Consistent play from 18-feet and in along with an increased role on defense, Brewer will be expected to produce from day one.
In other news, Chicago still isn’t done putting together their final roster as center Omer Asik and former Warriors reserve C.J. Watson have signed on with Chicago to provide even more depth for the youthful Bulls.
When the summer comes to a close and everything is said and done, the Chicago Bulls will have likely put themselves in the discussion of Eastern Conference contenders quite possibly becoming the third best team behind teams like the Heat and Magic, but ahead of the Celtics and Hawks.