Jason Patt of Bulls 101 tipped us off to a report this morning by the San Francisco Chronicle's Rusty Simmons stating the chatter around the draft combine is that the Chicago Bulls won't pick up a 3.2 million team option on backup point guard and "Bench Mob" stalwart C.J. Watson. We heard earlier in the week that Chicago has interest in future Hall of Famers and free-agents-to-be Jason Kidd and Steve Nash at the same position, so the two reports would seem to go together.
Still, given the reasonable cost of Watson's option, his familiarity with the system and the success he enjoyed running the show for Derrick Rose during certain times last season, I agree with Patt: this report should be taken with a rather large grain of salt.
Let's also not forget that the Bulls will be pushing up against the luxury tax threshold and very little wiggle room in terms of cap space. Kidd may not command much money, but Nash surely will. Are we even sure that the 39-year old Kidd -- who posted a 13.1 PER last season, is even an upgrade over Watson? I don't think he is.
One last bit of food for thought: perhaps the Bulls know something we don't have Watson's health. C.J. had surgery on both feet this offseason to repair plantar fasciitis, an injury that has drained the powers of noted superhumans Larry Bird, Andres Nocioni and Carlos Quentin in the past. If the Bulls don't feel comfortable with Watson's rapidly developing history, perhaps they really could turn down his option.
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