When talking about someone the Bulls need in order to win the NBA Finals there is one position that they need improvement on: shooting guard.
When thinking about shooting guards who are free agents next year, there are three names that can be candidates for the Bulls: O.J. Mayo, J.R. Smith, and Anthony Parker.
First off, we have to remember the last good shooting guard who played for the Bulls: Ben Gordon. When the Bulls drafted Derrick Rose in 2008, Ben Gordon was a total ball hog, and took wild shots, while Rose should have been leading the team. The Bulls never got past the first round with the Rose-Gordon combination and they are much better with someone who is not a ball hog in the shooting guard role. In 2009-10, the shooting guard was John Salmons, not as much of a hog as Gordon, but still, a veteran who wouldn’t allow Rose to be the true leader of the Bulls.
Once the Bulls had a shooting guard that allowed Rose to be the true leader of the team, the Bulls blosomed. This was not enough, though. In the playoffs, Chicago relied much too heavily on Rose to perform with not enought support, especially from the shooting guard position. I know that Boozer struggled mightily, but the Bulls need a shooting guard that can do two things. First off, allow Rose to be the leader of the team. Secondly, he has to perform. Bogans, Korver, and Brewer allowed Rose to lead without performing very much in the playoffs.
One of these three free agents will help the Bulls win an NBA title within the next 3 years.
Let’s start with O.J. Mayo, in 2010-11, Mayo’s stats took a steep drop from the previous season, averaging 11.3 points per game, with 2.4 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. Mayo was also suspended for ten games midseason for violating the NBA’s drug policy. Throughout his struggles this past season, Mayo still possesses that inner beast. He has big-time play ability, and is more than capable of putting up big numbers. Mayo is also known to be a hog with the ball and take bad shots that he doesn’t need to take. He resembles Ben Gordon way too much in this manner. Because of this, Mayo is a bad fit for the Bulls, as he would try to take over the team, like Ben Gordon did in 2009.
The next candidate is J.R. Smith, in 2010-11, Smith’s scoring took a drop as well, averaging 12.3 points, with 4.1 rebounds and 2.2 assists. Throughout his career, Smith has had character issues, and has sometimes been a bit too vocal, immature, and be a setback for his team. Like Mayo though, he can be
excellent. He is a fantastic 3 point shooter, shooting 39% last season, and is an excellent driver with big play ability. Sometimes, though, Smith can be to lopsided towards the offensive end of the court, and not the defensive end. He is someone who can definitely perform for the Bulls, but will most likely be a distraction, and a liability. Therefore, J.R. Smith is not a good fit for the Bulls.
The final candidate for the Bulls is Anthony Parker. In 2010-11, Parker averaged 8.3 points with 3.0 rebounds and 3.0 assists. Although his stats are not great, look at the team
he was on, Cleveland. With no strong support, Parker found it difficult to perform. If he was in a Bull uniform, with Rose passing him the ball, and with Joakim Noah down low picking up the boards, Parker can truly blossom. Another plus about parker is his defensive play. He is the only candidate that is a true defensive-minded player, which is perfect for Tom Thibodeau’s system, which relies heavily on defense. Anthony Parker can be that rock on the Bulls team; he is also a great shooter, and can have production on both sides of the court.
If the Bulls sign Anthony Parker, they will improve their championship chances greatly.
If the Bulls sign Anthony Parker, they will win a championship within the next 3 years.
If the Bulls sign Anthony Parker, we may just be waiting for the next great thing to happen.
By Sam Brief