Mohammed hopes to be back with Bulls
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The Bulls' Carlos Boozer (5) talks to teammates Jimmy Butler (21) and Nate Robinson (2) during a timeout in the second half of the Game 5 loss to the Heat.
When some players hit free agency, they sit back and let their agent try to find them a new job.
Nazr Mohammed plans to do it himself. Following Wednesday's season-ending loss in Miami, Mohammed said he will call the Bulls himself and let them know he wants to come back.
"Of course, I'm a Chicago guy," he said. "I would love to have a year to play with Derrick. That's something I would definitely like to look at. But you know how it is. This is a business. This is all talk right now.
"What you want and what you get are two different things. We've got to hope that we both want the same thing."
Mohammed turns 36 in September and will be looking to play his 16th NBA season. Since they only plan to pay the NBA's minimum salary, the Bulls probably won't do much better than securing Mohammed for a second season. They're likely to target a big man with the No. 20 pick in the draft.
"I'm going to tell Thibs myself," Mohammed said. "I'm at the point where I can talk to the coaches myself. My agent (Michael Higgins), he does a great job, don't get me wrong. But I'm old enough to know the business. I like to talk to guys myself.
"That's what we did last year. I told them, 'Give me a call and let's figure this out.'"
Hamilton laments missed chance:
One player who almost certainly ended his Bulls career Wednesday is Richard Hamilton. He had a good finish, scoring 15 points after being bypassed in the rotation for most of the playoffs.
In the locker room at American Airlines Arena, Hamilton was drawn to thinking about what might have been.
"I enjoyed every bit of it. I enjoyed the guys. I enjoyed Joakim (Noah). I enjoyed Derrick (Rose)," Hamilton said. "But to not get that opportunity to see when we're full healthy is just one of those crazy things that you think about all the time."
Hamilton signed with the Bulls before last season hoping to be the final piece to the championship puzzle. But then Rose got hurt and everything went south.
"That was my purpose of taking the buyout in Detroit," Hamilton said. "That was the whole purpose, to try to win another championship.
"I saw a great opportunity to get that. With all the injuries and things like that, that's a hard thing to swallow sometimes."
Hamilton has $1 million guaranteed on next season's $5 million contract, so the Bulls probably will end up eating that and buying him out.
Robinson wants to return:
Nate Robinson made a plea to return to the Bulls after Wednesday's loss but also was realistic about his situation.
"I would love to (return). Honestly, I really would," Robinson said in the locker room, an ice bag resting on his right thigh. "Knowing the guys that we have here, I know there's probably limited space for me, but we'll see how it goes.
"I love this team. I love these guys, and if I could stay here it would be wonderful.
Asked his immediate plans, Robinson said he will go home to Seattle, enjoy time with his kids and wait to see what happens.
Thibs sees Butler starting:
Speaking to reporters in front of the Berto Center on Thursday, coach Tom Thibodeau said there's no reason to expect Jimmy Butler won't be a starter next season.
"The way he played this year, he earned that spot," Thibodeau said. "Jimmy, I thought, had a terrific year, and I thought it started last summer. I think his commitment to work and improvement was special.
"I spoke to him today; he's already talking about this summer and what he wants to do. He'll be back here shortly. You just love his attitude and approach."
Thibodeau also paid a compliment to Carlos Boozer, who had 26 points and 14 rebounds Wednesday.
"He's been so durable. When you evaluate him in totality, what he gets done over the course of a season he's right there at the top at his position," Thibodeau said.
"More importantly, when we have everybody in our starting lineup, they win at a very high percentage. I don't think you can overlook that."
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