Some tame John Salmons and Aaron Gray rumors

Sources close to me have said that the present plan is for John Salmons to start as the shooting guard this season with Hinrich coming off the bench.   Also, John Salmons recently commented that he plans to opt out of his contract.   Bare in mind, the person who told me this also told me that Salmons told him that he would opt into his contract in March.   Also, from what I've been told Aaron Gray will formally accept the QO within the next week and a half and announce his returning to the Bulls.
None of these things should be a big surprise.  I think most fans expected Salmons to come in as the starter and opt out next year.   This only interests me due to a rumor I heard long about Hinrich being unhappy coming off the bench, and the Bulls wanting to accomodate him by starting him or moving him to a team where he'd start.

As far as his option clause, even when i was told he'd opt in, I told my source that there's no way he'll opt in and that he would change his mind if he said that.   At most, Salmons comments can be taken to mean that he's willing to wait and see how it goes which, in reality, is what any player 10 months away from having to make the decision is going to do.

If Salmons is injured all year or has a terrible year in some way that will put him on a short term low money deal then he will opt in.   If he plays well this year, then he'll opt out and attack FA a year younger coming off two good seasons as simple as that. 

As for Gray, whether the announcement actually comes by the end of next week is somewhat irrelevant to me.   As soon as July 23rd passed, Aaron Gray was a Bull.  He'll do his due diligence to see if someone else wants to pay him the LLE, but no team is offering him a multiyear guarantee or more than the minmum IMO.


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  • i've long thought the most interesting thing about being a bulls fan this year will be to root hard for salmons to have a great season... it gives us the double bonus of him playing well for us and also him opting out, giving us enough cap space (if we renounce tyrus) to go after a max free agent

  • Clearly, unless Salmons gets a significant injury, or otherwise sucks next year inexplicably, he will opt out. If so, perhaps someone can explain to me what the Bulls' plan is for the two guard now that they let Ben go for nothing and drafted Tim Floyd's boy instead of that North Carolina flat-out shooter who was the obvious choice and also available at #26. I suspect the answer to my question is none other than Kirk Hinrich, that overpaid mediocrity who the Bulls could not unload on anybody in the offseason for the life of them. Oh, did I mention that Floyd and Gar are best of friends?

  • I really hope that the bulls can "accomadate" kirk to another team. I can't see how a team handicapped by the LT can commit 9 mill a year to a backup of our best player.

  • Oh I agree, I think he is a fine 6th man. If he made the MLE, I'd be all for keeping him. But on a team handicapped by the LT, they just can't commit that much money to a backup to their best player and he isn't a sg offensively. I understand he can steal 10-15mpg there but I want Rose to run the offense when ever he is out there. Lets not kid ourselves, he is a starting PG in this league, just because he can play sg a bit doesn't mean he should.

    I don't really think his shooting is that great but its not bad. Again, I don't dislike Kirk, I think he is a good solid pg but I don't see anything more than a bench role for him and that is just out of place. If he were an MLE player, I'd love to have him here. He only has three years of his deal left but he will be overpaid for them and has been overpaid for the previous two years too. We also passed up a great situation to turn him into boozer. We would have had an allstar quality big and more cap space. I am sure with an extra 9 mill in cap space we would be getting pretty close to being able to offer a second max contract next summer if salmons opts out.

  • The more that our 2010 cap space picture comes into focus the more I hate the Loul Deng contract.

    If he doesn't rebound to become the player that he looked like he was in the 2007 playoffs he will replace Gordon as my most despised player to watch.

    Kirk on the other hand is a real dilema for me. I like his game best as a combo 3rd guard, exactly what he will be this season. I like him far less as a starting point or shooting guard. Unfortunately, we are paying him average starter money.

    I read an item of interest on ESPN yesterday that might have implications for the Bulls and HInrich.

    Eric Dampier of the Mavs has a $12 million contract for 2010-11, however, it is totally non guaranteed. So you could trade for him and immediately cut him and save $12 million off your cap.

    So at the trade deadline, or immediately after the season the Bulls could "salary dump" either Hinrich or Deng, assuming that Dallas would have an interest in either.

    However, as ESPN pointed out there could be a lot of "competition" for Dampiers contract.

    Anyway, it is the dog days of summer, this seems like a good topic to debate in this no news period.

  • Honestly, after loosing our last 3 leading scores and being handicapped by the LT from picking up helpful players, that response made me throw up a little bit. You do realize that at the end of last season, our starting lineup made about only 1/3 of our total team salary? That doesn't sound like sound fiscal policy. We have over half of our payroll committed to dead weight or limited players. Kirk, Deng, and Miller all play behind better and cheaper players? Would you take any of them over their starter, I know I'd rather have Rose, Salmons and Noah at each of their respective positions.

  • If you dump Deng and Salmons opts out, you should have cap space for two max guys.

  • Thats not really the point, I can already tell you we are going to lose next years leading scorer. Salmons won't be back if he opts out. How many guys can you lose? We got the same retention rate as the clippers.

  • If he has a good and healthy start to the season, I am sure you could find someone out of the 2010 contest that would give us an expiring for him. I just hope we don't get mesmerized by his mediocrity again. You can pick up a Salmons/MP/Posey type every year for the MLE.

  • I don't think its completly out of the question if Deng comes in and plays all the games before the trade deadline and puts up a solid 16 and 6 or up. I know the economy isn't good but he is still young.

  • I keep wondering if anyone remembered last season.... Once Hinrich came back and after the trade we were really good, remember beating LeBron and the playoffs.. (If only Ben had fouled out one more game...) Now we get Deng back, add help at the four and have multiple players with another year of experience. I see 50 wins...

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