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Free Agency 2011: Chicago Bulls Are Near Deal For Richard Hamilton, According To Report

News broke on Friday that veteran NBA shooting guard Richard Hamilton will be bought out of his current deal with the Detroit Pistons, and the natural progression was to for Bulls' fans to wonder about whether he will make his way to the Chicago Bulls when the process is finished. Now it appears the Bulls are indeed focused in on acquiring Hamilton, as the team is 'zeroing in' on him, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune.

The Detroit Pistons and veteran NBA shooting guard Richard Hamilton have reached a verbal agreement to buyout the remaining two-years and $25 million left on his current contract. Pistons' general manager Joe Dumars explains:

"Nothing is official," Dumars said, "but we have come to a verbal agreement. Once it's official, then I get more detailed about why buyout instead of amnesty. There's a reason, a definite reason."    

via Justin Rogers of The reason the Pistons and Hamilton are working on a buyout as opposed to an amnesty clause move is because Hamilton will be able to choose his new team after a buyout rather than having to go through the amnesty bidding process.

A buyout means Hamilton will not get the full value of his remaining contract (as he would under the amnesty clause), but the freedom to choose a contender like the Bulls might be more important to the 12-year veteran. Signing Hamilton to a mid-level exception deal, which pays approximately $5 million in annual salary, would limit the Bulls' exposure to the penalties of the NBA luxury tax system. It is believed the Bulls are preparing a two-year deal worth roughly $10 million for Hamilton.

For updates on free agent moves, stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago. For in-depth coverage of the Bulls, visit Blog a Bull. For up-to-the-minute coverage of all of the key personnel moves, check out the SB Nation NBA free agency StorySteam.