Bulls GM exploring options

DEERFIELD, Ill. -- Chicago Bulls general manager Gar Forman did not want to specifically address his interest in Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard or Detroit Pistons swingman Rip Hamilton during Sunday's media day interviews, opting instead to refer to reports setting the scene.

ESPNChicago.com reported the organization has interest in acquiring both players, according to a league source.

"We're still exploring ways that we can improve this basketball team moving forward, and we've still got some roster spots and a little bit of flexibility," Forman said. "And we're exploring options as far as making additions to this team. Hopefully something will happen in regards to that in the next few days."

When asked specifically about the possibility of talking to Orlando Magic GM Otis Smith in regards to Howard, Forman spoke in generalities.

"It's our job to be in touch with all 29 teams around the league, and we have been in the last week," Forman said. "And to keep a pulse of what's going on in the market and keep a pulse of what's going on as far as any trade possibilities.

"But I wouldn't mention individual names or share our business or who we're talking with as far as players are concerned. But we're having conversations throughout the league."

Hamilton, who spent the last nine seasons with the Detroit Pistons, is expected to clear waivers at some point in the next 48 hours.

"All I know is what I've read," Forman said. "I don't want to talk about other team's players. So really, nothing more than what I've read.

"We've been in contact with a number of players, and we've really tried to explore a number of different options that we feel will have a chance to improve this basketball team. And if we find the right player, or players, that we feel have a chance to get us better, to improve our team, we'll certainly make a move. With that said, our feeling has always been, we're not going to make a move just to make a move. And if we don't feel it's a plus for this team, we'll bring this team back as is and feel really good about our group of guys and giving them a chance to continue to grow."

The Bulls' players were a little bit more forthcoming about the possibility of adding Hamilton.

"I've known Rip since I was 14 years old," Bulls forward Luol Deng said. "Rip played college basketball with my brother. I used to go up to UConn, just to work out with those guys.

"One thing I can say about Rip is, all his teammates like him. I think if Rip was to come here, he'd be a great guy in the locker room. A great teammate; you know that from the guys from Detroit. They love playing with him and he's a guy who won a championship. He's been there, he knows what it takes, and I'm sure if he was to join us, I believe he would make us better."

Bulls star Derrick Rose reiterated his admiration of Hamilton.

"Did we get him yet? I don't even know," Rose said. "If we was to get him, I think he would be great.

"He's always in perfect shape running around, especially for his age (33). And he has the experience, where he's a winner. Even when he was in college, I know it goes further than that probably in high school. You got to win, especially going to Connecticut you got to be a good player. And if anything, I know that he would help us if we get him."

Nick Friedell covers the Bulls for ESPNChicago.com and ESPN 1000.