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Nate Robinson unlikely to return to Bulls next season

May 18, 2013, 8:29 PM EDT

Chicago Bulls v Miami Heat - Game One Getty Images

Nate Robinson wasn’t only the Bulls’ main scoring punch during the playoffs, he symbolized the team’s heart, as well.

Robinson put in many memorable performances during his injury-ravaged team’s run into the second round, including leading Chicago to a thrilling triple-overtime win over the Nets in the fourth game of that series, and helping to steal Game 1 on the road in Miami against the defending champion Heat.

Robinson won’t soon be forgotten by Bulls fans for what he did for the team this season. But he also likely won’t be returning next year.

As an unrestricted free agent, Robinson is going to look to get a multi-year deal, and one that is more than the veteran’s minimum he played for in Chicago that wasn’t even fully guaranteed at the beginning of the season. But more than money being a potential issue is the fact that when healthy, the Bulls are very deep at the guard spot, which would make the services of Robinson somewhat expendable.

From Aggrey Sam of CSN Chicago:

However, with Rose’s expected return next season, Hinrich having another deal on his contract and rookie point guard Marquis Teague needing at least the opportunity to develop in game situations, it’s unlikely that next season will be in Chicago for the instant-offense scorer and fan favorite.

If it was up to Robinson, though, the little man with the big heart would be back in the Windy City.

“I would love to. Honestly, I really would, but knowing the guys we have here, I know it’s probably limited space for me. But we’ll see how it goes. Talk to my agent and stuff like that and figure out what’s the best plan for me,” the loquacious speedster said. “I love this team, I love these guys and if I could stay here, it would be wonderful.”

Robinson averaged 16.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 4.4 assists in 33.7 minutes per game during the playoffs. There will be teams out there who will pay for that level of production, but the Bulls won’t be one of them given the wealth of guards on the roster that are expected to be fully healthy for next season.

  1. kanemoney - May 18, 2013 at 8:58 PM

    He is worth about 5mil for a spark off the bench for a team that needs him

  2. lakerade - May 18, 2013 at 8:59 PM

    Dude put on a show, pay him. Where might he go? How about Brooklyn, they could use his fire.

    • biasedhomer - May 18, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      Brooklyn can’t sign anyone decent, they are in a cap mess

      • melkipershero - May 18, 2013 at 11:45 PM

        *cap hell

        They cant do anything for like 4 years

  3. tombstone7 - May 18, 2013 at 9:27 PM



    $6.9M is reasonable!

    • erckle31 - May 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM

      6.9m???! You must be trippin’. I’d love to have him too, but that’s a ridiculous price. Now if you’re saying 6.9m for 2 years, then that’s workable.

    • erckle31 - May 19, 2013 at 4:40 AM

      6.9m???! You must be trippin’. I’d love to have him too, but that’s a ridiculous price. Now if you’re saying 6.9m for 2 years, then that’s workable.

  4. melkipershero - May 18, 2013 at 9:51 PM

    Hes one of those guys who got hot at the right time. Hell get paid and the team that does will regret it quickly. Theres a reason hes bounced around so much. Hes not good on D (the Bulls system helped him out) and hes inconsistent.

    Your individual playoff winner of 2013 is… Nate Robinson.

  5. addictedzone - May 18, 2013 at 9:57 PM

    Undersized, poor defense, lousy shot selection, and he only hit 33% of his shots against Miami. That’s not a spark plug. That’s a flameout. That’s the type of player non-playoff teams like to sign to long term contracts.

    • bloodpusher - May 18, 2013 at 10:54 PM

      You dont know what your talkin about. Nate Robinson has out jumped guys who are 6′ 11″ and taken the ball. He has stolen the ball and he has taken good shots. Hell even Michael Jordan missed a bunch. He had to be a good shooter to average 14 points a game. The reason he has bounced around the league so much is because there is a bias against him about his size. He is the Calvin Murphy of this generation. He has tremendous jumping ability like Murphy, He is tough and he is fearless. He is not afraid to get tin the faces of those big dudes out there. He has paid the price with physical injuries but he knows that part of the game. Chicago will regret they got rid of him. Even with Derrick Rose healthy last year the Bulls did not win. So there depth of guards is not the issue. Those guards were all hurt and Nate was the man who quarterbacked the team not the other guys. He wants a steady contract and bigger money. I dont blame him. I respect the smaller players like him, Rondo, Iverson and Chris Paul. These guys have to be tough and fearless to hang in the with over grown giants of the NBA. The game of basketball was designed for someone who is six feet tall. Not some 7 foot behemoth. A guy that big should dominate. The Bulls went a long way with a injured team. Nate was a big reason they got as far as they did. He has over performed. Derrick Rose for all his fame and glory has yet to bring Chi town a championship. Nate is a great player pound for pound inch for inch he is one of the best.

      • Kurt Helin - May 19, 2013 at 11:33 AM

        It is not his size, although that is part of the equation because he is a defensive liability. He makes some steals and great plays but he gambles a lot and hurts defenses more than helps them. On offense he can get hot but he more often takes teams out of rhythm by shooting whether his shots are falling or not. Fans love Nate, coaches do not, that is why he bounces around. Thibs turned to him in the playoffs because he had no other choice.

      • johnlaxamana - May 19, 2013 at 3:03 PM

        I agree!!!!!

      • badintent - May 20, 2013 at 1:56 AM

        For once, I can’t add to that !.Well played. Nate could play CB in NFL. He Should play in NFL.

      • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 2:15 AM

        A 5’9″ (if we’re generous) DB? NFL quarterbacks and receivers would destroy him.

    • melkipershero - May 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM

      Right on. I cant believe people think he deserves to get paid.

      Suns? They gave Beasley 18 million so it wouldn’t shock me. Twins and Lil Nate.

  6. ninthwardfriend - May 18, 2013 at 10:59 PM

    Come down to New Orleans Nate. Bring that heart and we got some gumbo for ya!!!

    • badintent - May 20, 2013 at 1:58 AM

      I had Gator gumbo. one of the best food I ever ate. Swamp People !

  7. erckle31 - May 18, 2013 at 11:07 PM

    Nooooo. Come on! I’m not even a Bulls fan but I LOVE Nate on the Bulls. It’s a great fit. Pay the damn man.

  8. ipointadvisors - May 18, 2013 at 11:12 PM

    Lakers need to find kobes replacement… Forget everything else… Thats kupchecks next homerun… All other aquisitions are base hits.

  9. sportsnut101 - May 18, 2013 at 11:31 PM

    Bulls can’t pay him unless they don’t want a 2guard in offseason They need a 2guard. It depends if they can get Tim hard away jr in draft which I hope

  10. cantonbound13 - May 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Dallas, he could take JJ Barea’s place from 3 years ago.

  11. lonnie49 - May 19, 2013 at 2:13 AM

    there is a reason he moves so often, he isn’t very good…gets hot at times…but a bad overall player.

  12. cafesmitty - May 19, 2013 at 3:56 AM

    Being a Bulls fan, I want Nat back. A guy who has proven himself, not a young “potential” backup. Nate plays fearless. Ship Hamilton off.. all he did was sit on the bench while the bulls pay for his medical expenses for 2 years. Nat wants to be there.

  13. eagles512 - May 19, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    Terrible defensively and not a good team player.

  14. gpatrick15 - May 19, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    The NBA: Where ” What have you done for me lately?” happens.

  15. phoenix - May 19, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    Love Nate and his game, how could you not. He has improved tremendously this season under the tutelage of coach Thibs. His on court demeanor has matured a good bit also and if he were to stay in Chicago would improve even more. His energy and speed more than make up for the vertically challenged part of his game. Plus, he can frigging jump over the moon. Hope he stays but see the problem with all the other guards the Bulls have.

  16. yuwannano - May 19, 2013 at 7:37 PM

    As a Bulls fan I would love for Nate the Great to stay, but in all honesty Dallas could really use his talents.

  17. syhaile - May 20, 2013 at 3:59 PM

    Are you guys serious. I’d pick Nate Robinson(15ppg, 43%) . I’ve seen Kirk Heinrich get blocked 4 times by Lebron James in just one Game. I’ve seen Nate Robinson block Lebron James. Nate is easily one of the toughest players. The Bulls would not have advanced to the 2nd round without Nate Robinson(Game 4-34 points)- Not sure if I could say that about Kirk Heinrich. Nate Robinson is short so by nature all his shots are tough- which is why you might question his shot selection- but look at his FG%.

    Prediction w/Out Nate Robinson: Derrick Rose will return and will probably clock in more playing time because Kirk Heinrich is limited offensively. Derrick Rose will most likely strain/injure his knees from overuse. Bulls will lose in Round 2 again.
    Solution: Keep Nate Robinson-At Least for ONE YEAR (Now You have 2 offensive weapons Rose/Robinson). Rose could rest more and regain his confidence. The Heats will have to deal with the Bull’s version of J.J Barea- assuming they don’t make the same mistake as Dallas and let Nate go.

    Keep Nate-(who’s the reason the Bulls made it this far). Now add Rose, Deng, and you now have a Ring.

    • Kurt Helin - May 20, 2013 at 8:16 PM

      You think Hinrich is limited defensively? Did you watch him be the key to beating the Nets? You think Nate is better defensively? One nice block on LeBron doesn’t make up for how often he gets abused on that end — he gambles, he’s high risk/high reward. That sound like a Thibs guy?

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