Bulls add veteran guard Keith Bogans


Aug 6

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The Bulls Friday added another perimeter factor to their roster by reaching agreement on a two-year deal with former Spurs starter Keith Bogans, NBA sources confirmed.

The deal is estimated at about $2.5 million, with the second year not fully guaranteed until next summer. Thus, the Bulls still have salary cap room left and flexibility and are expected to remain in trade discussions for another guard, perhaps Portland’s Rudy Fernandez.

The addition of the 6-5 Bogans appears to be at least an insurance policy in case the Bulls cannot add another perimeter player of their liking through trade either later this summer or before the February trading deadline.

But Bogans should not be considered an after thought.

The Bulls long have had him ranked higher than Shannon Brown and Roger Mason Jr., who both recently signed, as Bogans started 50 games for the Spurs last season ahead of Mason. Brown resigned with the Lakers and Mason signed with the Knicks.

Bogans also has long been a favorite of new Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau, who has been hopeful management would add Bogans for his defensive play, toughness and ability to hit a three-pointer.

Though not a big scorer—Bogans has a career average of 7.1 per game—he is a 35 percent career shooter on threes, He shot just under 36 percent last season and was well above 40 percent in college.

Bogans likely will line up with Ronnie Brewer and Kyle Korver as swingmen along with Derrick Rose and C.J. Watson to give the Bulls a deep, albeit new, backcourt.

It probably will take some time to integrate four new perimeter players, but the task should be easier with Rose as the leader.

Bogans, 30, played at the University of Kentucky and started his career as a second round pick with the Magic, with whom he’s had three different stints in his seven seasons. Bogans also has played as the classic journeyman for Charlotte, Houston, Milwaukee and last season for the Spurs, where he averaged 4.4 per game but in slightly less than 20 minutes per game.

His best seasons were with Charlotte in 2005 when he averaged 9.6 per game in 42 starts and then following season in Houston when he started regularly and averaged 8.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.5 assists with aggressive defensive play that has stayed with Thibodeau. He’s the kind of valuable journeyman who doesn’t excite fans as much as coaches because of his tough team play, which was why Orlando acquired him back twice and Charlotte once. It’s rare when teams try to get back players they had to include in trades.

Typical of Bogans, opening the season for the Bucks in 2008 he broke his non shooting hand and was expected to miss six weeks but returned in half that time. Bogans was brought to the Spurs last season to fill the defensive stopper role previously occupied by Bruce Bowen. His addition gives the Bulls a strong defensive presence and size on the perimeter with Brewer and the shooting of Korver.

Plus, leagues sources say the Bulls remain very much alive in the potential discussions for Fernandez if the Trailblazers decide to trade him. To this point, sources say Portland is holding back on any trade of Fernandez. But with cap room remaining the Bulls are in play in other trade scenarios for a wing player or big man.

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