Brewer reunites with former teammates again

Brewer reunites with former teammates again
February 24, 2013, 7:15 pm
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OKLAHOMA CITY—Former Bulls swingman Ronnie Brewer won’t be active Sunday evening, as his former squad visits his new residence, but he’s still on the mind of his old coaches and teammates.

Brewer, who was a Knicks starter at the outset of the season, was traded to Oklahoma City at Thursday’s trade deadline after falling out of the Knicks’ rotation.

“I just hope he gets an opportunity here. Just a great player, especially defensively,” Bulls All-Star Luol Deng said of his teammate of two seasons. “He brings a lot to a team. I guess in New York, they didn’t need him or didn’t use him as much. Hopefully he’ll get a chance to show how much he can affect a team.

Second-year Bulls swingman Jimmy Butler, who was somewhat of Brewer’s protégé and spent the All-Star break with Brewer in the veteran’s hometown of Fayetteville, Ark., said he talked to his former mentor after the trade.

“A new start, basically. Just coming here and play hard, and do what he’s been doing for so many years in this league,” Butler told prior to the Bulls’ morning shootaround at Chesapeake Energy Arena, when asked about Brewer’s reaction to the deal. “I feel like that was his role on every single team. This is just a new team and a new beginning.”

Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau held Brewer in high esteem during the wing’s two-year stint in Chicago and expressed the opinion that the defensive-minded player would mesh well with the Thunder.

“He’ll fit in fine because of the type of character that he has and their team is made up of great character. He’ll do whatever they ask of him and that’s just play great defense, move the ball, run the floor, move without the ball. Ronnie’s just a good player. He can fit in anywhere. He can fit into any system. I think he’ll add a lot to them,” he said, before opining on why the trade could have been made. “I thought he played very well early for them, but [second-year shooting guard and Chicago-area native Iman] Shumpert was out and Shumpert was a big part of what they were doing last year, so I think him coming back and then they had some injuries up front.

“So, it looks like it was more based on need. But Ronnie can fit into any system. That’s his strength, his versatility. I think he has a great reputation in the league and people value what he does.”

Meanwhile, the Bulls will be without starting point guard Kirk Hinrich for the third straight game, as the veteran attempts to recover from re-aggravating his lingering right-elbow injury.

“It’s progressing, but not as quickly as I would like it to, so just taking it day by day right now and hoping for some improvement every day,” Hinrich said.”

While Hinrich admitted that he wouldn’t be suiting up, Thibodeau stuck to his usual “we’ll see” stance.

“We’ve got more than enough,” the coach insisted. “Nate [Robinson] has to step up and Marquis [Teague] has to step up, so we’ll go from there.

Robinson, who previously played for the Thunder will likely again start for Hinrich.

Backup center Nazr Mohammed and reserve sharpshooter Daequan Cook are the other Bulls who have spent time in Oklahoma City during their careers.