Still a Bull. For one more season anyway.
According to John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “The Bulls completed their offseason moves on Tuesday by re-signing backup center Aaron Gray to a one-year contract for roughly $1 million. Gray, who had been a restricted free agent, is entering his third season in the NBA after averaging 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds in 117 games during his first two seasons.”
Wow. I haven’t felt this much nothing since The Love Guru was released on DVD. When a team signs its 12th man to a one-year contract, that’s the same as saying, “You really aren’t part of our future. In fact, you’re barely part of our today.” Don’t get me wrong. Gray’s a good kid who works hard and all that. But with the additions of rookies James Johnson and Taj Gibson, Gray is now buried so far down the depth chart you’d need Indiana Jones to find him.
Over the weekend, news broke that Carlos Arroyo was on the verge of signing with the Bulls. From ESPN.com: “According to several sources, Arroyo, represented by Leon Rose, is in talks to join either the Boston Celtics or the Milwaukee Bucks. However, both teams told ESPN.com’s Chris Sheridan that they have had no contact whatsoever with Arroyo or his representatives. On Saturday, El Nuevo Dia, a newspaper out of Puerto Rico, reported that Arroyo was close to signing a deal with the Chicago Bulls. According to the report, the agreement would be for one season and $1 million.”
My first thought was: Whaaaaaaat?! Do the Bulls really need another point guard behind Derrick Rose, Kirk Hinrich, Jannero Pargo and Lindsey Hunter, let alone one with a career three-point field goal percentage of 31.8? It seemed highly unlikely, unless the Bulls were preparing to trade Kirk Hinrich or Gar Forman had decided to collect point guards the way some people collect stamps, baseball cards or dirt. (No, really. There’s an entire museum dedicated to dirt collections. I’m not making this up.)
Well, according to Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald, the rumor is way off: ”The Bulls are not angling to sign former NBA point guard Carlos Arroyo. A rumor that Arroyo was about to sign a one-year deal with the Bulls appeared in Puerto Rico’s El Nuevo Dia this weekend. But such a plan has never even been discussed. … The Bulls have very little room to add payroll before eclipsing the luxury-tax threshold and will probably open the season with a 13-man roster if center Aaron Gray re-signs as expected.”
To me, it seems possible that these rumors were the result of Arroyo’s agent trying to generate some buzz for his client. Arroyo, who has been something of an NBA gypsy, wants to play in the Association again. One of the best ways to drive up demand is to create a perception of scarcity. That’s Economics 101. So unsubstantiated reports that link Arroyos to the Celtics and Bucks and then have him about to sign with the Bulls (who have no need or cap space for him) can probably be taken with a grain of salt…until they appear in a publication better known to the NBA than El Nuevo Dia.