New Bulls GM Gar Forman faces many critical decisions in his first summer on the job: who do we take with our two first-round picks? Should we try to re-sign Ben Gordon? Should we make a trade? Would anyone take Luol Deng's contract?
One question has a relatively simple answer: Don't re-sign Gordon. The fifth-year guard has got to go.
Sure, Gordon hits plenty of big shots, and he was the Bulls go-to guy all series versus the Celtics. But he was also the guy jogging after Ray Allen, known to hit a big shot or two, and he took numerous dumb shots, especially in Game 7. He's undersized as well.
Gordon wants big-time money, yet he's never made an All-Star game. Sorry, the Bulls' past offers were as fair as it gets. And Gordon didn't want them. And the Bulls shouldn't offer him any more.
If the Bulls do sign Gordon, then that could decrease the money they have for the summer of 2010, when guys like Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amare Stoudemire will be free agents. Each of those guys is more valuable than Gordon, and signing one of them would make the Bulls a legitimate contender in the Eastern Conference. Can you imagine Derrick Rose running pick-and-rolls with Stoudemire or Bosh or running fast breaks with Wade?
And those images certainly look better than Ben Gordon jacking shots all over the place while letting guys do the same over him on the other end.
Gordon's good - he's just not a guy who deserves the money he wants. Don't be surprised, though, if a team like Golden St. signs him, a perennial loser that wants a guy ready to launch but willing to do little else.
The Bulls may be able to pick up a reliable off-guard or swing man in the draft to replace Gordon, and if they can sign Stoudemire or Bosh, suddenly they're looking at a Rose, "new guard," Bosh, Noah, Salmons lineup...and they could still have Deng, who, while overpaid is still valuable, Kirk Hinrich, who makes a fine third guard, and Tyrus Thomas to run alongside Rose. And one or two of those guys could be used in a trade to bring in another big name - including someone to replace Gordon.
So please, Forman, don't try to re-sign Gordon. We know you said you wanted to when you took over as GM, but please, just wait until next summer, and give that money to a free agent who's worth it.