With Rip Hamilton back in the waiting room of his doctor’s office, the Bulls rallied quickly in order to stay on top of the Eastern Conference. This morning team President and Chief Operating Officer Michael Resindorf flew on a private jet to Voorhees Township, N.J., and is currently meeting with Pervis Ellison about a possible return to the NBA. The two met at a Panera Bread for about 45 minutes then headed to the local Y.M.C.A. for a workout and evaluation.

While many die-hard Bulls fans were left on the tarmac scratching their heads, coach Tom Thibodeau applauded the idea.

“With the team playing so well it’s important to maintain the same dynamic,” said Thibodeau. “Finding a guy who is healthy enough to give us 83 seconds a game, every so often, would keep us in serious contention down the stretch.”

Bulls players seem to agree. center Joakim Noah defended the organization’s actions.

“My grandfather told me he used to watch him when he played at Louisville and he was like ice,” said Noah. “He said there was no one better back in the late ’80s. I’m sure he’ll be able to bring back some of the magic to help us out come playoff time.”

If the Bulls weren’t able to land Ellison, a source said the team would head straight for Portland where they would try to work a trade for frail Blazers big man Greg Oden.