Will the Bulls really go all in?

After signing Carlos Boozer, the Bulls look to be on the fast track to becoming one of the best teams in the conference.  

The Miami Heat, Boston Celtics, Orlando Magic, and Atlanta Hawks are the other four teams in the conference with whom the Bulls will need to contend.    Of those teams, the Bulls should pass up the Hawks and Celtics (if not this year with the Celtics by next year).   They're positioned as, at worst, the third best team in the conference long term.

Most Bulls fans are thrilled with Boozer, see improvement, and are now speculating on what to do with nearly 18 million in cap room left.  The answer may be nothing, or at least nothing big.

See if the Bulls commit, if they go all in, then they're going to have the luxury tax man knocking on the door in a couple of seasons.   Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah are both going to get 8-10 million doller per year pay raises in the next two seasons.  

This situation was created by moving Kirk Hinrich's salary for cap room.   If the Bulls had kept Hinrich and had room for one max, then hinrich's contract coming off the books in two seasons would have paved the way for Rose's extension.   Now the Bulls will have to look to replace his salary spot and likely use more years to do so.

The cap presently sits at 58 million, if we spend up to it and add 16 million on top of it, we're sitting at 74 million in salary, 4 million over the luxury tax this year.   On top of that, much of the roster will be increasing outside of Rose/Noah with 8-10% raises each season, so throw on another 3-4 million and we're looking around 77 million.

Whether the Bulls are really committed to winning will become apparent in the next couple of weeks.   If the Bulls use the rest of their cap room on long term contracts then they're either committed to paying the luxury tax, or they're morons. 

If they find ways to come up with short term deals then the team is hedging its bets and isn't really prepared to pay for a winner, and the reasons as to why LeBron, Wade, and Bosh ultimately said no to us will also be clear.   We'll have continued to cement our reputation as a profit before winning franchise.  

Jerry has said he'd pay the tax for a winner.   No crap.   If the team is generating massive profits due to extra playoff games, merchandise, ad revenue, and all other revenue streams then it's not really paying for a winner.  It's an increase in expenses that's offset by an even greater increase in revenues.

What the Bulls fans want to see is the franchise actually leave some of their record breaking profits on the table in order to put a better product on the floor.  Maybe come in 2nd or 3rd in profits once instead of first in order to make the team better.

Show the world that the Bulls aren't spending like a small market team and will pay for a chance of greatness rather than only after greatness has been obtained.  In order to truly improve the team this summer, the Bulls have to do that.   Will they?  

I think so, but we'll have to wait and find out.

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  • I know everyone thinks LBJ to Miami is a done deal, but the media/Bosh created this idea of a super team. So yeah they will continue to run with this story, if you claimed to have a big "member". You would run with it till proved otherwise, so until LBJ says tonight the Bulls. These media members will run with Miami.

  • "If they find ways to come up with short term deals then the team is hedging its bets and isn't really prepared to pay for a winner, and the reasons as to why LeBron, Wade, and Bosh ultimately said no to us will also be clear." - You are kidding, right?

  • In reply to robert:

    In a roundabout way it proves that the Bulls aren't prepared to pay for a winner. The Bulls are close and already have a great starting lineup. They are one Alpha-male or an improved Rose away from being a serious title contender. If we miss out on the top 3 and pull back on investing anyway, it will be easy for them to say "this would have happened if we went their anyway." Doesn't mean it's true, but we wouldn't have shed our reputation by going all in anyway.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    The can and will say anything they want - as they have been doing so far - and as, we all see, it does not mean a thing. The Bulls, by their actions, showed that they are ready to pay for the winner. If it turns out that in the end "the winner" will realistically mean just th the first playoffs round, or maybe the second at the best, who can blame them if they decide not to pay luxury tax for that?

    Even if we disagree on that point, the part that irked me in the above quote was readiness to justify one's point of view by a discrepancy between those clowns' words and their behavior, as if they had ever meant anything they said. By attempting so, one invariably puts himself at their level and doubt that Doug ever intended that.

  • In reply to robert:

    Robert who are you really?? Some Bulls organization wonk chiming in??

    Let me get thi straight? You as a Bulls fan when we traded Hinrich, cleared as much cap space as possible, and signed an all-star power forward in Carlos Boozer. Realistically we could have expected at most to sign Wade or Lebron. So we got an all-star power forward instead. And now suddenly all best are off, and we are no longer going for it/being a contender? With the most profits raked in on generally crappy teams for a decade? And now because we got an all star power forward instead of Wade or Bosh the Bulls now say we quit. No contender building that's over. Luxury tax readiness rescinded.

    As I said before, who are you really Robert? Because you sure as hell are not a legit Bulls fan.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Look guys, the Bulls do have the best team for Lebron to sign with but they have always said he has always waited to the last minute to do things and he has not always made the most logical decisions. Everyone in the league and in the media knows that the Bulls possess the best opportunity for him to win. If anyone has ever watched that documentary on Lebron and his buddies in high school, will see that him and his guys have always done things differently and I think this will be the same out come. This is why I say I would not be surprised if he signed with N.Y or N.J. cause neither one of those teams are suppose to have a chance at signing him. Lebron has always been a N.Y. fan and his announcement coming from the N.Y. area puts it even more into perspective. I hope he chooses the Bulls but I will not be surprised if he signs with one of those 2 terrible teams trying to revive basketball on the east coast and building his legacy there. If he chooses Cleveland I wont be mad, just so long as he stays away from Miami cause they are real cocky right now and are on cloud 9. Wade and Bosh will not get it done and hopefully the nonsense with Wade will be for nothing with them never winning a championship again as long as Wade and Bosh are there.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I just wonder....I wonder if LeBron is going to Shock value tonight? He has the whole world wacthing. This is reality television gone wild.Would it be out of the realm of possibility that LBJ chooses the Bulls after having everyone guessing Miami? He obviously wants the attention and has got it this week. He KNOWS that the best roster is in Chicago to win RIGHT NOW! Now, it's gonna hurt Clevland to lose him, but to go where he's gpoing to be the second banana? I just don't see it. Maybe I just don't understand it. But something is a little funky smelling. Rose, Boozer, Noah, Deng and LeBron easily is the best in the East. It doesn't make ANY sense. If he does go to Miami, he went because of perr pressure? That would show me how soft minded he is. If it does go down the way everyone expects, then check out what Bill Simmons of ESPN says about LeBron. It's scathing!And it's good...http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=simmons/100708

  • If Lebron does not choose the Bulls, they need to be on the phone tonight to fill that shooting guard spot with either Miller before Miami gets him cause contract has been offered from Miami with him having to decide by tonight. That tells me they are not sure about Lebron signing there. Bulls need to contact Korver and Morrow also to try and make something happen. Hopefully by tonight we will have the big prize though. Haven't given up hope yet.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I hope they pay for Anthony Morrow first. If not him than try to get Fernandez. Then Korver. Then JJ Reddick. Last on my list is Mike Miller b/c of his injury history. Korver has an injury history but he's a better shooter.

  • I love ESPN, "Is Lebron going to Miami or does he have a big surprise up his sleeve". I really don't want the Bulls being the favorite going into tonight.

  • I think we need to keep 5/7 mil in cap space open and sign some players like Morrow. If we can get some disgruntled star(SG/SF), we can maybe trade Deng + use cap space for the star without gutting the franchise. But that said, when Noah/Rose come up for big money...he has to pay...otherwise, LeBron/Wade are probably right.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Morrow seems like a nice kid with good size and sweet stroke, but here is the "latest Tweet" on him at DraftExpress:

    "Worst NBA defenders vs isolation sets (min 50pos): Mo Williams, Antawn Jamison, Vlad Radmanovic, DJ Augustin, Anthony Morrow,Chase Budinger
    2010-03-01 12:20:05

    From DraftExpress.com http://www.draftexpress.com/profile/Anthony-Morrow-1003/#ixzz0t84fecdY
    http://www.draftexpress.com "

    Quite an elite company of defenders, isn't it?.. Can you imagine Steve Kerr being a starting shooting guard? Yet he was a very valuable back-up when correctly used in a correct system (he had been dumped by a couple of teams before getting some prominence on the Bulls.)

  • In reply to robert:

    46% from the 3 point line

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    This coming from are favorite Ric Bucher....

    FWIW: disparate opinions among gms, agents, league HQ officials today about where LeBron is going, but consensus on 1 thing: it's not Mia.

  • Bulls will be a top 3 team in the east no matter what. The top 3 seeds in the playoffs go to the division winners. Boston will win 1, Bulls will win the other, and that leaves Miami, Orlando and Atlanta trying to get that 3 seed. If Orlando ends up with a better record then the Heat...the Heat get the 4th spot in the playoffs.

  • My Theory....if we win the LeBron-a-thon....without question we will pony up the dough or risk total anarcky down Madison.

    But...if we whiff on Bron Bron and have to sign some fill ins....Jerry will hedge and start shipping players away when it comes time to pay Rose and Noah.

    Once a miser...always a miser.

  • In reply to iamdvsj:

    I have to agree with this. I don't see Jerry paying into the luxury tax for a bunch of pretty good players. If Rose becomes a top 5 player, I think Jerry will pay. Without one of those I just don't see it.
    I really hate this Lebrin going to Miami, the consolidating of power in one place is terrible. I still find it hard to believe he is going to go on national TV and essentially say "suck it" to Cleveland. I think he is staying put, and if he does I think we will have a very exciting season of basketball ahead of us. If he goes to Miami I have a hard time not seeing them pull off 5 to 6 championships with possibly breaking the 72-10 barrier.

    Regardless is not Lebrin a complete douche?

  • In reply to iamdvsj:

    Top 3 teams of each conference gets 1,2,3 seeds in the playoffs. Boston will get 1, Bulls will get the other if LBJ leaves, and either Orlando or the Heat will get the finals spot. The Heat could end up getting the 4th seed if they dont have a better record then Orlando.

  • In reply to iamdvsj:

    I don't believe the Miami hype. That team is still and will always be Wade's team until he's gone. I think LeBron want to be #1 wherever he goes. That LeBron documentary also portrayed him as a very loyal person. I still can't see him disrespect the fans and city of Cleveland by making such a production of this. He's also reported to be in Akron. Is he doing this show from his house? I know if I was in his shoes and wasn't going to sign with the Cavs, I wouldn't be anywhere near Cleveland. There's gonna be riots in the streets if he doesn't come back...what else is there in Cleveland?

  • If we dont get LBJ...id say sign Anthony Morrow, resign Brad Miller, and look at either Korver or Mike Miller. If that happens, the Bulls will be very very good.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Please no Brad Miller...He was absent for most of the season with the same concerns about Boozer. We should go for a developing BIG who can stay healthy and similar to Samuel Dalembert as a backup.
    We need two SG types(one who has been in atleast the 1st round -- Korver, Reddick) and another up and coming/unproven(Morrow type)..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    the concern about boozer is that he gets injured. brad miller was one of only two bulls that played in all 82 games (the other was taj). you can argue all you want about millers effectiveness, but he is a big man who can pound and stretch the d and hit the three. he is also a glue guy...i would love to see him back. i love watching the interactions between him and jo.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    These people in Miami really feel like they have Lebron Locked up. I pray that he does not go there, anywhere else but Miami.I want to see the sad faces from them, not too sad but sad they did not get Lebron. And Of course I want Lebron to sign with the Bulls. I hope all of this is just smoke screens. Sounds like the Bulls management to keep something like this a big secret. If it happens remember, you head it here first

  • In reply to Reese1:

    From you hahahah that is laughable, I've been saying Lebron is coming here since when I started posting on here last week. Not trying to make this a high school argument, but I was one of 3 people not freaking out yesterday when Miami signed Bosh/Wade.

  • In reply to gibby6385:

    Yeah coming from me... don't be too quick to count out N.Y. Carmelo if he does not sign his extension could leave as a free agent and there has been a lot of reports he wants to play for N.Y. Lebron and Carmelo are boys... JUST SAYIN.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    They play the same position.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Mikhail Prokhorov reportingly just named LeBron Cheif Executive Officer of his nickel producing company in Russia, Onexim Group. What possible free agency implications this has, I have no clue.

  • In reply to gibby6385:

    I see an opportunity of Bron turns us down. Lotta teams might be looking to shed salary and we could take some on and pass along an exemption. Or we could lock up some role players... I don't like Mike Miller, I'd rather bet on Korver or Morrow (or both).

  • In reply to gibby6385:

    I have always been against Lebron to Miami because 1. I figured Bosh would want every last cent and 2. I thought Lebron cared about his legacy and wanted to be "the man" in winning a championship. If he does this ANY championships he wins will have a * after it like Kobe had when he teamed up with Shaq. But I guess if he wants to go for quantity, he has some catching up to do since Cleveland hasn't done it. I'm deflated and I've moved past getting him, but I feel like if he want to the Bulls, it would be his best move and we WOULD trounce the Heat.

  • In reply to gibby6385:

    I was with you on that one...Lebron will be here. He will be viewed with a stigma on his legacy even if he wins titles.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    If we do not get LeBron... then its time to get on the phone with Denver and see what we can offer them for Melo. Send them James Johnson and a bunch of draft picks. Or send James Johnson & Deng and work on getting Melo & either J.R. Smith or Arron Afflalo.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    We have to. We've got a real opening here.

    The Celtics don't have much time left, the Magic are beatable (and Carter/Lewis are declining), Atlanta are really only a slightly better "Pistons model" era Bulls.

    Which leaves only Miami, and honestly 3 guys and a bunch of minimum salary doesn't scare me. Nobody good takes minimum salary, "ring chasers" aren't that desperate. Everyone assumes it'll just turn out to be one big happy family, everything will go right, and they'll cruise on to victory. I see a paper thin team that's very vulnerable.

    So all in it has to be. This off-season is the big test of the whole "spend for a winner" thing.

  • In reply to Csharp:

    Don't forget about Asik, may negate need for Miller

  • In reply to Csharp:

    KIRK HINRICH:

    The trade just became official.

    http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/07/bulls-finalize-hinrich-trade-to-wizards.html

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I'm not buying this Miami thing. ESPN obviously dosn't know either. They are saying all signs are pointing to Miami. They are not definite babout that. Also, they have camera crews in Chi, NY, NJ and Cleveland. None in LA. So if this is such a sure thing, then why doesn't ESPN definitivly say Miami. LeBron has been his own guy since he came into the league. He runs his own ship. Why would he now decide to partner with Wade and Bosh and ruin his brand? I SMELL A RAT! Albiet a good rat.. He wants to be the master of suspense and use shck value... Stay tuned. If I'm wrong, then I'm wrong. But if I'm right, who's willing to Bow Down. He knows Chicago has the best option to a title right now...

  • In reply to Csharp:

    I think the bulls are being overrated, I mean this team with hinrich last year barely made the playoffs. The bulls are one or two injuries (boozer, deng and or noah are quite possible) from going on one of those season killer 10 game losing streaks or something. I remember they were pretty overrated after the celtics series two years ago.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    That's because you think they are overrated. The Bulls had a lot of injuries to all and I do mean all of their players all last season so that 10 game losing streak had a very big excuse behind it. Thanks for not noticing that tho.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    That's what I said, injuries.... Boozer is always liable to going down for extended periods, everyone knows that, same with Deng. Noah plays real hard, that is also a risk factor. All I'm saying is that I wouldnt be surprised if we see another 7th or 8th seed.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    You have no clue.. Let me ask you. when are you going to get hurt? Can you predict that? Nope I don't think so. Yes players get hurt, that's part of the business. But you cannot tell me when these thing are going to happen if ever...

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    C'mon the Bulls management was essentially trying to give up the season and we had a coach who was not good in designing plays. It is a totally new season and even if Boozer plays for 65/70 games...we should be fine. Taj can easily fill in for 10/15 games.
    The Bulls can easily be 3rd seed or at the worst 6th seed.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    They lost Derrick Rose twice during the year, they lost Deng, Hinrich,Tyrus Thomas and Noah. If any team were to lose that many guys at once, they don't make the playoffs. Also you must consider that they traded Thomas and Salmons away. So considering that they had all of these issues and still made the eighth seed is a testament to their willingness not to roll over. If they had stayed healthy, they very well may have finished ahead of Miami and Boston. I no if's are not definites. But this team has a lot going for themselves. Plus no one can predict injuries. I had always stated that Ray Allen was hurt every other year with the Sonics. But he has had three injury free years in Boston. So you just can't predict injuries.

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    I guess what im really trying to say is, this team is thin as hell... there is no 5th man right now (SG) let alone 6th man. Kyle korver and J.J redick are 7-9 spot minute kind of players... who's starting at SG?? Can they find somebody to play defense at that spot? actually, are there any perimeter defenders on the team right now?

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    kirk hinrich was a damn good perimeter defender, duhon was pretty tough himself a few years back

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    They have Taj Gibson, and James Johnson. They many options at the 2 guard position. They could go after Richard Jefferson. Not the ideal player I would want. There is Reddick, Korver, Morrow. Also Korver and Reddick played 20-28 minutes per game last year. Reddick would start for a lot of teams. In this case he would be a temp aquisition that would fill permanemntly in a trade or throught the draft. They will have someone at that position. They have Money$$$$.

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    James Johnson is barely a rotation player if that. I know they have buying power, but who is selling right now?

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    I just read an interview with Jerry on ESPNchicago or something that quoted him saying they've had no communications with LeBron, and regardless of what LBJ does that the Bulls will be a better team (he said better than Miami, regardless of James' decision). So I think JR's in all-in mode at this point, and really, the ECF is up for grabs next year.

    It will be interesting to see what other pieces the Bulls add after the LeBron circus is finally over.

  • Doug, I feel that they will. Mainly, the fan base now will be very impatient. That got a chance to taste what it might be like to possibly get great talent becaus eof a favorable cap situation. You can't come this close to getting the finest lady at the bar and then decide that ugly is OK... I feel that this will motivate the Bulls to move swiftly to fill out the roster with solid players. One comes to mind is Richars Jefferson. He's a guy that has been up and down. But he's athletic, can defend and score. Also, the bulls may be patient and hold on to their space and see what happend with Carmello. I wonder what may be going through his mind after being told that he has to take Denver's deal or be kicked out of town. If that situation gets tenuous, Denver may trade by the dealine or sooner. So keep an eye on that. He actually would be a great fit because he can post up, play pick and roll and can play the four when you go to small lineup. So I would watch Denver closely. One thing will be getting Noah wrapped as soon as possible to an extension.

  • What about Ronnie Brewer or Randy Foye?

  • Heat pulled their Welcome LeBron ad..it's all over Twitter

    Well, I can't wait till this is all over. Only 26 more minutes!

  • what will bron bron do........................one hour away! **** i know where he's goin

    According to T-Macs twitter.

  • According to some guy called "Black Jesus" over in the Real GM message boards.

    "Yes confirmation about 5 times in the past 2 hours with repeating the same thing over and over. The 1-hour concept is going to have commercials, why he picked Chicago, followed by memorable highlights of him and his love for the Cavaliers, and then you're going to watch people sitting at a desk analyzing it all for the last half hour."

  • Doug, Kudos to you for that ballsy and true as true gets article. You said it all in a nutshell, and said it well.

    If the Bulls are now going to say, "Hey this shot at a contender was only if we signed Wade or LeBron period. An all-star power forward is not good enough. The pursuit of a winner is over. That $18 Mill left we have to finish the job of being a contender with Rose, Noah, Taj, Deng, and now all star post stud Carlos Boozer. Not good enough. But hey it should have been the contending team to attract LeBron. Oh, but without him, they no longer are near being a contender with the right use of that $18 Mil??

    If the Bulls who have gone all in on the Hinrich cap clearance now cry foul because instead of Wade we got an all-star power forward?? Then they really dont believe in team. All they believed in was Lebron/Wade.

    Again Robert wherever you are you are a Bulls schill if ever there was one. Doug, amen brother. You are respected down to earth friend of the fan yet reasonable corporately responsible awesome balance all rolled into one. Too bad they don't make very many like you any more. Way to go. Regardless of what reinsdorf chooses to do.

    And what about Boozer. We signed him clearly under the auspices of putting a contender. And now boo hoo we didn't get Wade/LeBron, so sorry Booz, but the money's going back in my pocket, and your fucked.

    Again kudos Doug. Robert, you are a Bulls and Boozers worst nightmare.

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