Chicago Bulls Sign Keith Bogans – Bulls Shooting Guard Rotation Gets Even Cloudier
Sam Smith is reporting the Bulls have signed swingman Keith Bogans to join what might be a fairly heated competition for starting shooting guard in training camp. Smith’s writing for chicagobulls.com, so while it may be his opinions and not the team’s, I’d expect this to be a real signing or they wouldn’t let it on the site.
As I was saying earlier, what the Bulls really need is some outside shooting. Prior to signing Bogans, you had Ronnie Brewer who plays good defense and relies more on athleticism attacking the rim than 3-point shooting (a lousy .258) last year. You also had Kyle Korver, normally more of .380 – .400 3-point threat who had himself a contract year and shot a ridiculous (and likely one-time-only) .525 last season. Of course, Korver is noted for defensive deficiencies.
Enter Bogans. Bogans is kind of like Joe Smith. He’s a veteran journeyman. He’s not going to win you many games, but he also isn’t going to screw anything up. Plug him in, fill hole, just don’t expect him to lead the charge. Bogans can play some defense. He shot .357 from 3-point range and is a career .351. I’d call that an adequate percentage for a shooting guard, but nothing particularly special. The Bulls are quick to point out Bogans started 50 games for the Spurs last years, but he averaged a whopping 4.4 points per game, almost exclusively taking the odd 3-point shot. (And only taking 50 free throws in 79 games.)
Clearly, this is not your savior. And much like his new teammates, Bogans is still a big step down from Kirk Hinrich. On the other hand, Bogans might just be a happy medium between Brewer and Korver. If the primary goal is get a veteran who can play respectable to solid defense and hit some 3’s when left unattended to keep the other team honest, you could do worse. Now, you’d really like to see more of a sharp-shooter hitting around .400 from beyond the arc, but after the fishing expedition for J.J. Reddick was over. (And again, Bogans is a much better defender than Korver.) Bottom line, you can plug Bogans in there and get by with him as a complimentary player and 5th scoring option.
Now Thibodeau gets to choose between offense (Korver), defense (Brewer) or balance (Bogans). Still no clear starter or clear bench players at the 2, in my mind.
That said, the rumors haven’t died down about the Rudy Fernandez of the Trailblazers as a possible Bulls acquisition. From what I’ve been able to glean, the hang-up seems to be the Blazers wanting a first round draft pick and neither the Bulls, nor the Knicks, have been willing to pony one up.
Fernandez would seem to be a clear improvement over the current lot. Who knows, maybe the Blazers would prefer one of Brewer/Korver/Bogans as the throw-in player to go along with the pick instead of the rumored potential departing player, James Johnson? How about Johnson, pick one of Brewer/Korver/Bogans and a second round pick? No? It was worth a try.