ESPN hoops analyst Jalen Rose predicted last week that free-agent guard Wesley Matthews could land with the Bulls. Social media was abuzz.
Veteran Bulls writer Sam Smith was asked about the rumor in his mailbag column for Bulls.com. Not only did he roundly quash the rumor, but he sideswiped the former Bull in the process:
So that’s where that came from. All of a sudden I was getting some mail about Matthews coming to the Bulls and hadn’t read it anywhere. Jalen’s on TV, so he’s not really a reporter but an entertainer. The Bulls, I believe, will work out a deal with Jimmy Butler unless Butler decides to play out another year to get to free agency and risk injury another year. It’s one thing with the $40 million or so deal he turned down last season. I wouldn’t have, but I don’t need as many pairs of cowboy boots. It’s another thing to reject some $100 million. I doubt Jimmy will do that; my guess is he’ll sign a deal, not become a restricted free agent, and then the Bulls personnel summer is basically over. They’ll be well into the luxury tax and at that point signings come with severe penalties, resulting in multiples of the salary as a penalty. So not only is the addition of players like Matthews and Jack not likely or really possible given the Bulls have no free agency financial room, but you can pretty much ignore any of these personnel rumors. I don’t expect any major trades and certainly no free agency additions. It’s unlikely with the No. 22 pick the Bulls could move up in the draft without giving up one of the young players who have value, like McDermott or Mirotic, both of whom are expected to be part of the regular rotation next season. Hinrich has a player option and will be back. The Bulls likely will replace Brooks with a veteran minimum deal and I believe they’ll try to bring back Dunleavy. That would be your 2015-16 Bulls. Who will be very different because of a new coach, style of play and use of depth. They have enough personnel and several players who haven’t played enough and need to start playing.
Chris Webber would probably agree.