Bulls re-sign Brian Scalabrine after losing Kurt Thomas
By Seth Gruen For Sun-Times Media December 12, 2011 10:24PM
Updated: January 14, 2012 8:19AM
Entering training camp, the Bulls only had four big men on the roster and an imminent need to add depth in the post.
The team addressed it Monday with the re-signing of forward Brian Scalabrine. The Bulls’ roster now stands at 12.
Last season, his first with the Bulls, the 6-9 forward averaged 1.1 points and .4 rebounds in 18 games. Over the course of his 10-year career, which includes four- and five-year stints in New Jersey and Boston, Scalabrine has averaged 3.2 points and 2.1 rebounds.
He was not a regular member of the Bulls’ rotation last season, but Scalabrine is the player who’s most familiar with coach Tom Thibodeau’s defensive system, having run it his last three years in Boston when Thibodeau was an associate head coach.
Scalabrine was considered an asset in training camp last year and was praised by Thibodeau for helping the rest of the team with the adjustment to his schemes.
He also was a favorite with fans, often drawing cheers from the United Center crowd during the Bulls’ blowout victories.
Scalabrine is well-liked for his humor and presence in the locker room.
With the departure of forward Kurt Thomas, who signed with the Trail Blazers, Scalabrine could fit into an emergency role with the Bulls.
Injuries to Joakim Noah and Carlos Boozer last season forced Thomas into a significant role. Those minutes could fall to Scalabrine if injuries again hit the Bulls’ front line.
Scalabrine has played on four teams that have advanced to the NBA Finals and won the 2008 title with Boston. He did not appear in any of the Bulls’ 16 playoff games last season.
During the lockout, Scalabrine played seven games with Benetton Treviso in Italy and averaged 11.6 points and five rebounds.