The Bulls officially announced that free agents Dexter Pittman and D.J. White have been waived Saturday, meaning veteran point guard Mike James has secured the team's 13th roster spot.
James is a familiar face, having previously played for the Bulls during the 2011-12 season. The 38-year-old journeyman has ties to Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau going back to their days together in Houston, where the coach assisted then-Rockets head coach Jeff Van Gundy.
Pittman, a center was considered a strong candidate to make the squad due to the Bulls' lack of post depth, shown in the preseason by All-Star center Joakim Noah playing in only one exhibition game after straining his groin in the first week of training camp. Still, it wouldn't be surprising to see Noah suit up in Tuesday's regular-season opener in Miami, as he's maintained to people around him that he plans to play and has ramped up his individual workouts, despite not participating in contact practices after being "shut down" following a 19-minute stint in his lone preseason appearance.
James' case was further bolstered by the fragility of the Bulls' point-guard situation. Even in the wake of Derrick Rose's strong comeback thus far, the organization is playing it safe with him, as evidenced by the former league MVP sitting out the team's win in Brazil due to soreness in his surgically-repaired left knee. Also, veteran reserve guard Kirk Hinrich missing the tail end of the preseason after suffering a concussion and shoulder injury in last Friday's home victory over Indiana, coupled with second-year point guard Marquis Teague up-and-down start to the campaign, provided more impetus to add experienced depth.
White has NBA experience and is a skilled offensive player, but plays at perhaps the Bulls' deepest position, power forward, demonstrated by incumbent starter Carlos Boozer finishing the preseason in strong fashion and backup Taj Gibson having a stellar performance throughout the month of October.
In theory, the organization could have kept all three training-camp invites to have a league-maximum 15 players in the roster, but there was always a tacit understanding that only one would likely remain, giving the Bulls the mandated minimum of 13 players under contract to begin the regular season.