Wednesday, March 3, 2010
By Aggrey Sam
The Bulls waived the team's--and the NBA's--elder statesman, Lindsey Hunter today, while welcoming back Chris Richard. With injuries to key frontcourt players Brad Miller, Taj Gibson and most notably, Joakim Noah, coupled with the team's surplus of guards, Hunter became expendable.
The 17-year veteran guard, a first-round pick by the Detroit Pistons in the 1993 NBA Draft, was the league's most tenured player. A two-time NBA champion--with the Lakers in 2001 and the Pistons in 2004--Hunter averaged 8.5 points per game during his career. Hunter, 39, will remain with the organization in an unspecified role.
Richard, a 6-foot-9 Florida product, is a familiar face, as he was with the team both in the preseason, and most recently last month, as he was called up from the D-League's Tulsa 66ers for a pair of 10-day contracts.
Richard averaged 2.5 points and 4.6 rebounds per game in his prior five-game stint with the Bulls this season. A physical player with an acumen for rebounding, he was a solid inside presence in relief for Noah, his ailing former college teammate.
However, he was released when Chicago acquired Flip Murray and Acie Law from Charlotte, and Hakim Warrick and Joe Alexander from Milwaukee at the trade deadline. The Bulls were forced to release a player to meet league-mandated roster limits, but head coach Vinny Del Negro reportedly stressed that his staff preferred not to release Richard.