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Rip Hamilton nearing deal with Bulls

Updated: January 12, 2012 8:39AM

Derrick Rose said he won’t try to persuade Rip Hamilton or any other free agents to join the Bulls. In Hamilton’s case, he wouldn’t have had to anyway. A deal between the Bulls and Hamilton, one of the prominent players on the Detroit Pistons’ 2004 NBA champs, appears imminent, according to multiple reports.

Hamilton is expected to sign a two-year contract for about $10 million once his contract officially has been bought out by the Pistons.

“That’s never been my style,” Rose said when asked if he would recruit free agents. “The city and the Chicago Bulls speak for itself. It’s a great market, the team is great, we’ve got the best fans in the world. Every arena we go to we’ve at least got 30 percent, 50 percent of the arena.”

Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau refused to discuss Hamilton specifically but did say incorporating a new player into the mix would not be difficult.

“A lot of that stuff you can do with film sessions, bringing them in early and staying late,” he said. “You can get them up to speed pretty quickly. It would be similar if you were making a trade.”

Hamilton has averaged 17.7 points per game in his 12-year career, but he averaged 14.1 last season, his lowest since his rookie year with the Wizards.

Neil Hayes

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