DEERFIELD, Ill. — Veteran forward Lou Amundson, may or may not be just making a pit stop in Chicago, but with his own assessment of his talents, he could fit right in with the blue-collar Bulls.
“Definitely energy,” Amundson said when asked about his skill set after Saturday morning’s shootaround at the Berto Center. “Defensively, I think I can do some things and help this team, but really just try to play hard and bring that energy every night.
“You kind of have to be around me enough and see me play day in and day out to really appreciate what I bring to the team and what I do, and I do work hard, so I think [Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau] can appreciate that,” he continued. “For me, I’m always going to give 100 percent effort. I’m always going to play as hard as I can. But if he appreciates that, that’s great. I’m here to do that and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”
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Amundson, 30, officially signed a 10-day contract Saturday morning, becoming the 15th player on the team’s roster.
After being waived by Minnesota on Feb. 8, he prepared for his next opportunity, something not unfamiliar to the journeyman, who’s now on his seventh NBA team in seven professional seasons, including stints in the D-League, since coming out of UNLV.
“It’s great. I’m really honored to be part of this team. Obviously it’s a great scene here right now, great history, some really good players and great coaching staff, so I’m really excited for this chance, and hopefully I can come in and help the team here,” he said. “I’ve been in Colorado. I’ve been working out with my trainer there, just trying to stay ready and stay in shape.”
Amundson was reportedly pursued by other teams, including the defending-champion Heat, but opted to sign with the Bulls, who are in need of additional big-man depth with top reserve Taj Gibson currently sidelined with a sprained left MCL injury for up to two weeks.
“I think just the fact that it was a top team,” Amundson, who is represented by Chicago-based agent Mark Bartelstein, said about his decision-making process. “They’re always a contender in the East and being part of a good team is important to me.”
Thibodeau didn’t rule out the possibility of Amundson, who will wear No. 17 for the Bulls, playing in Saturday night’s game against Brooklyn at the United Center.
“He could play. In situations like this, that’s where experience is important. Obviously you would pull back. You’d have a limited playbook, in terms of what you were doing, but you could manage. You could always manage,” the coach said, before delving into what Amundson brings to the table. “Energy, effort, experience. He’s been on some good teams. I think that helps.”
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Amundson isn’t making any assumptions about potential playing time, but his initial session with the Bulls already made a strong impression on him.
“They haven’t said anything to me yet. I’m not really sure. I’m just trying to get acclimated as quickly as possible, learn the plays and hopefully if I get thrown in there, I can perform and play well,” he said. “Just how thorough everything was today. I haven’t really ever been part of a shootaround like that, where it was that thorough and we go over every little thing, so I can tell the attention to detail, for sure.”