Sam Smith's mail bag is always worth a read, but this week he had an especially interesting, yet discouraging, entry:
Sam: I don't see the Bulls taking on Okafor's contract and thus costing
themselves a chance to go for someone like Bosh in 2010. Plus, I've
been hearing James will be able to play next season and thus there is
no insurance to cover his contract. As I wrote in my Monday column, I
believe given the financial situation in Charlotte Okafor could be
available. But he certainly doesn't fit with Noah in two relatively non
scorers. Plus, if you wanted a player like that you could probably get
Marcus Camby cheaper and for one year.
If Jerome James' salary isn't covered by insurance it will end any chance of the Bulls going into the luxury tax. With insurance, they could have gone into the tax but been close to breaking even anyway.
On top of the fiscal savings the Bulls would have had, they also lose an extremely valuable trade chip in the process. James' insurance money would have been gold to a team looking to save money and dump talent. Not only would he be an expiring, but one that wouldn't need to be paid.
All we can do is hope this information turns out to be false, but Jerome James' insurance status could easily be the difference in whether we could swing a trade with cash strapped Phoenix for Amare this summer.