Chicago Bulls Basketball – The rumors are swirling about Carmelo Anthony leaving New York at the end of the season. This brings great excitement for Chicago Bulls fans, but what if the Bulls strikeout on landing Anthony?

It might actually be a blessing in disguise. Sure, Carmelo Anthony is a great scorer, but he tends to get lazy on the defensive side. Their are a bunch of options other than Anthony for the Bulls this summer. Players like Pau Gasol, Zach Randolph, Lance Stephenson and the list goes on…

Chicago Bulls Plan B For Free Agency

Chicago Bulls Free Agency Plan B

Zach Randolph – Memphis Grizzlies PF (Player Option): Rumors are that the Grizzlies will be pursuing Pau Gasol, brother of Marc Gasol, this summer via free agency. That means Randolph will most likely be opting out of the last year of his contract. Randolph is a double-double machine and an absolute terror on the glass, averaging 10.1 rebounds per game.

The one downside on Randolph is that he is not going to come cheap. This is his last chance to get a big contact and he’s looking to cash in. He will be turning 33-years-old this year, and paying a guy over $100 million for five years at that age is not the best move the Bulls could make this summer. If the Bulls could some how work out a deal to bring him here on a three year contract, worth anywhere from $35-40 million, it would make him a more ideal fit for the Bulls.

Pau Gasol – Los Angeles Lakers PF/C (Unrestricted) 

Gasol will be turning 34-years-old at the end of the season. His best days are behind him, so he won’t be getting a max deal this time around. The Bulls have been interested in him for quite some time.

With Taj Gibson emerging as a solid NBA power forward, the only way he’d fit into the Bulls system, is if he were to come off the bench. Signing Gasol would no doubt give the Bulls one of the best front court trio’s in the league.

Chicago Bulls Plan B For Free Agency

Shaun Livingston – PG/SG Brooklyn Nets (Unrestricted) 

This would be a homecoming of sorts for Livingston, who grew up in Peoria, Illinois. He is best remembered for his horrific knee injury he suffered while playing for the Los Angeles Clippers. Yes, he’s had a severe knee injury in his past, but has been pretty solid for the Nets this year. He is also only 28-years-old, which makes him one of the younger free agents available this summer.

Signing Livingston gives Rose a solid back up and would give Thibodeau the option to run a dual point guard offense without giving up size on the floor. He is a very tall point guard, who is very active on the defensive end averaging 1.2 steals per game. This would be a great pick up if the Bulls are able to sign him.

Lance Stephenson – SG Indiana Pacers (Unrestricted) 

This is the guy all Bulls fans want if Anthony doesn’t come to Chicago this summer. Stephenson is having a career year for the Pacers which means he’ll be  a  little more expensive than the previously mentioned options. He is still very young with tremendous upside; however, he tends to be a head case. Having said that, he has shown he has matured over the past two years.

This is the best option for the Bulls besides Anthony. Stephenson plays great defense and plays with passion, he’s a competitor and wants to win.

Other Solid Options

Kyle Lowry – PG Toronto Raptors (Unrestricted) 

Paul Pierce – SF Brooklyn Nets (Unrestricted) 

Isaiah Thomas – PG Sacramento Kings  (Restricted)  

Danny Granger – SF Los Angeles Clippers (Unrestricted) 

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Photo(s): prosgiveback.com, capitalnewyork.com, SbNation



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