Aaron Gray or anyone else?

Today is the last opportunity for the Bulls to pull the qualifying offer on Aaron Gray and sign any other player.    If they do not pull the qualifying offer then Aaron will most likely accept it as there's little money around the league and the odds of him getting more than the minimum or a multiple year contract are low.

He could flee for slightly less money to a situation that offers more playing time, but quite frankly, Aaron Gray is unlikely to log much playing time anywhere else either, and if I'm Aaron Gray I'm maximizing my salary every year in the league because it's likely there won't be more than a few more of them.

So I view it as a given that Aaron Gray eventually accepts the QO if the Bulls do not pull it today which begs the question, would you rather have Aaron Gray or anyone else available on a min level deal?

The options out there aren't great.  I'd be interested in making a play for Drew Gooden, Joe Smith, Leon Powe, Rasho Nesterovic, or Ike Diogu over Gray.   Will one of these guys get forced to take the minimum?   Probably.   If not, Aaron Gray isn't likely to drum up much interest around the league.  He's probably available for a minimum contract later anyway.

On top of that, the Bulls save about 200k of salary towards another move later on in the year.   Given the Bulls were less than 200k from the tax last year and should be butting right up against it this year, that money has the potential to be valuable if trying to complete a trade deadline move later on while staying under the luxury tax.

Keeping Aaron Gray isn't a problem, but it makes little sense to do so at a salary over the league minimum given the players who might be available at that price.

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  • Might need his 6 fouls against Shaq, so thats $1 million for 4 games.

    Had some utility against Yao but hes out for the season.

    Not really interested in seeing Drew Gooden again.

    I would dump Gray and take a chance on Leon Powe in a heartbeat. You get him at the minimum because of his injury. Don't know the extent of it or if he will play at all this year, but I like his game, when healthy. Still surprised the Celtics didn't so the right thing by him.

    I say Gowe for Powe.

  • Obviously, if Joe, Drew, or Powe take the minimum, you've got to grab them, but sure, it's hard to see that happening. As a semi-relevant aside, I'm surprised that I haven't heard a single word about interest in Drew Gooden, not that I expected him to match what he made on his last deal, but has it really gotten this bad for him? I guess our only hope here is that one of these guys are willing to take a one-year minimum deal to prove themselves for next year, and we can dream knowing that both Drew and Joe fit pretty well here in the past. Maybe Joe is old enough that he might have to accept a minimum. Maybe not. Gray is almost certainly staying.

  • I would go for Powe in a heart beat. Sign him for a year or two at the minimum, treat him right and help him get back to 100%. Then once he shows he can produce again, offer him an extension.

    He's a very good 3rd or 4th big who's great around the basket, and a very strong defender who's shown he can viably start in a pinch. He already is what we seem to be hoping for in Taj, so why not? He's definitely a better defender than Gray, and really in every aspect of his game.

    This is a guy who could be a long term piece, but who we can get at or near the minimum for a year or two while we really need frugal contracts.

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