Friday, August 12, 2005

Bulls interested in Brian Grant

The Daily Herald reports the Bulls are one of several teams interested in forward Brian Grant. Grant, who was waived Wednesday by the Lakers under the new amnesty clause, has also drawn interest from Denver, Phoenix and former teams Miami and Portland, among others.

While Grant's agent, Mark Bartelstein, refused to speculate on where his client will land, he feels the Bulls are in contention.

"He was impressed with some of the things they had to say," Bartelstein said. "I think it's probably something we'd take a look at. We have a lot of respect for John Paxson and Scott Skiles.

"This is a big decision for us. The Bulls have a good thing going. He wants to be in a good situation and have a chance to win."

Grant averaged just 3.8 points and 3.7 rebounds in 16.5 minutes per game but, as the article mentions, was hampered by chronic knee tendinitis and a neck injury suffered in training camp.

If the Bulls match Toronto's offer to Duhon, they'll have just over $2M of the mid-level exception left as well as their biannual exception of $1.6M. Grant could also be signed for the veteran's minimum.

Except for last season, Grant has been otherwise durable. At 33, he should still have a few good seasons left in him. (Antonio Davis will be 37 next season.) Grant is the kind of hard working, model citizen the Bulls love and could see time at forward and center. His playoff experience gives him an edge over Tom Gugliotta and Malik Allen - other forwards the Bulls have shown interest in.

While some players have clauses in their contracts that would defer salary payments over a longer period of time if they are waived, Grant apparently has no such clause and will earn roughly $14.5M next season. Therefore, money shouldn't be an issue - although it usually is.

Grant would be worth the remainder of the MLE but, should the bidding escalate, would signing Grant to the full MLE be worth not matching Toronto's offer to restricted free agent Chris Duhon?

UPDATE 8/15: Yahoo is reporting that Grant is close to signing with the Suns.