I am about to admit something that is one of the most difficult things for me to admit- I was wrong. For those of you who do not know, I wrote an article about a month ago in which I essentially voiced my displeasure in the Chicago Bulls’ recent signing of journeyman D.J. Augustin.
It appears as if Augustin is on a mission to prove me and every other critic wrong. The man has simply been playing fantastic basketball for the last month.
In his last five games Augustin has averaged 21.6 points per game while shooting 55% from the floor and an astounding 57% from behind the three point line. Augustin is also averaging 5.6 assists and running the Bulls’ offense to perfection: or at least as perfect as their offense is going to get.
I have to admit that these statistics are so impressive that if Augustin can keep this up for the rest of the season it would be very difficult for Bulls fans to watch him leave in the offseason. Then again, those shooting percentages alone are so amazing for a guard that if he could keep them up for the rest of the season I would argue that he should even be mentioned as a candidate for an ALL-NBA team.
Realistically we all know that Augustin will soon cool off; this impressive stretch of his will come to an end. When this undoubtedly happens he will not be as effective a player as he has been recently. However, there is still a good chance that he will finish the season averaging 18 or 19 points per game because of the desperate need for offense that exists on this particular Bulls team.
Assuming Derrick Rose returns next season the Bulls will still be in need of a solid backup point guard. Having a good backup point guard is very essential to a contending franchise; recent history has shown that the health of Rose is not something that the Bulls can rely on. Having a solid replacement plan like Augustin would be fantastic.
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that Augustin will return to the Bulls next season. When he signed with the Bulls a lot of people from around the NBA acknowledged that he was essentially receiving an audition to prove that he could still contribute in this very competitive league. It is definitely safe to say that Augustin has passed his audition with flying colors, but that sadly means he will probably be moving on this summer.
Like so many transactions in the NBA, the re-signing of Augustin would come down to one major factor, money. The Bulls will presumably have enough cap space to resign Augustin, but whether or not they want to use that cap space and hold onto Augustin is a very tough decision. Other teams from around the league will undoubtedly offer the 26 year old Augustin a substantial amount of money to be their starting point guard; in order to keep him the Bulls must be willing to match those high offers.
Regardless of whether or not Augustin is still a Chicago Bull next November fans should still tune in and enjoy the show that he is putting on right now.