According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, Bulls GM Gar Forman told Ronnie Brewer’s agent that — although they opted not to pick up Ronnie’s $4.37 million option — the team might re-sign him at a reduced salary.
Said Brewer: “I will definitely test the market though. Whatever team I end up going to, I know I’m going to have another improved year.”
Of course, it could be that part of the reason Brewer’s option wasn’t picked up is that he didn’t really have an improved year last season.
In 2010-11, Brewer averaged 6.2 PPG while shooting 48 percent from the field and 22 percent from downtown. He also added 3.2 RPG and 1.7 APG.
In 2011-12, he upped his scoring average slightly to 6.9 PPG but — after a hot start — his shooting dropped to 42.7 percent.
Brewer’s Player Efficiency Rating (PER) also dropped from 13.8 to 12.3 and his Win Shares Per 48 Minutes went from .147 to .113.
Comparatively, Jimmy Butler posted a PER of 12.5 and a Win Shares Per 48 Minutes of .144 last season, which project him to be about as good as Brewer.
In fact, Brewer’s Per 36 Minute stats (10.0 PPG, 5.1 RPG, 3.0 APG) are nearly identical to Butler’s (10.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG, 1.4 APG).
That’s not to undervalue Brewer’s contributions…it simply shows that the notion of letting him walk (or even possibly re-signing him at a reduced rate) may not be the the crazy/cheap move by management some fans are making it out to be.
Regarding the team’s decision, Brewer added: “They just said they’re going in a different direction and might try to sign me back once the dust settles with different trades and whatnot at a lower salary so they won’t go over the luxury tax or maybe something with a sign-and-trade situation. Who knows? My agent expressed to Gar that I appreciated the opportunity he gave me in Chicago. I enjoyed my time there.
“Coach (Tom Thibodeau) is one of the best coaches in the NBA, hands down. We’ve had a good group of guys with great chemistry in the locker room. It wouldn’t be out of the picture to go back, but I have to give other teams options to make an offer.”
As for Kyle Korver, Neil Hayes of the Chicago Sun-Times writes: “A different source said the Bulls were exploring sign-and-trade possibilities that could send Kyle Korver to the Minnesota Timberwolves or Atlanta Hawks, although his return to the Bulls hasn’t been ruled out.”
The Bulls have until Sunday to make up their mind on Korver.
Note: Stats provided by Basketball-Reference.