Adding Kurz may give Bulls options, flexibility


Apr 9

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So why did the Bulls waive Jerome James and sign Notre Dame’s Rob Kurz with four games left in the season and perhaps some more games for the playoffs?

I asked Vinny before Friday’s game whether it was a plan to fool the Nets and start Kurz and completely mess up the Nets scouting report on the Bulls.

We both then agreed that probably wasn’t the reason.

It’s not likely Kurz, a 6-9 shooting swing forward, will play for the Bulls the rest of the regular season. But there are two good reasons to make the signing now.

One is if the Bulls are able to sign a major free agent with their salary cap money they’ll have to sign several minimum salaried players and this is a chance to get a look at Kurz and involve him in the team’s system and have him on their summer league team.

Perhaps more significantly, you need players in the eventuality of a potential sign and trade deal for a major free agent whom you can sign for a year at a minimum salary and trade. Adding Kurz thus gives the Bulls another player like that along with the likes of, say, Chris Richard, to give the team better flexibility given the various scenarios that could occur this summer. A team would be unlikely to take on James in a similar circumstance.

Plus, Kurz is represented by Mark Bartelstein, one of the major free agents of top free agents, like David Lee, and it’s always good to continue relations with those top agents as they often like to have multiple clients on the same team.

“I understand they’re in a playoff race and hopefully we’ll make the payoffs and have a run and I can help the team anyway I can whether in a game or practice,” said Kurz, who played for former DePaul coach Joey Meyer in the D-league in Ft. Wayne. “Going forward I feel I can help an NBA team and hopefully show the Bulls I can be part of the team.

“I’m obviously a three point shooter,” said Kurz, “and with Derrick (Rose) and their scorers I can space the floor with my shooting. The best thing I do is take other power forwards away from the basket. There are a lot of stretch fours around the league and I feel I can be of value to any offense.

“It’s a good opportunity for me and hopefully in the summer they can see my work ethic and how I work every day and they’ll want me around,” said Kurz, who played briefly in Ft. Wayne with fellow new Bull Joe Alexander. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to join an organization like this.”

Kurz said he worked out last week for the Celtics before signing with the Bulls.

Said Bulls coach Vinny Del Negro: “He just got here. We don’t have time to practice. The front office liked what he was doing and we’ll have him on our summer league team and go from there.”

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