It's doubtful the Bulls will make a major move on draft night. The
last thing they want to do is add another high-salaried player because
of the uncertainty of the impending lockout and new collective
The safer bet is the Bulls will decide to make both selections. Yes,
first-round contracts are guaranteed, but the salaries are relatively
cheap and the Bulls need to fill out their bench. At present, the Bulls
roster is fairly set. No matter whom the Bulls select, it will be tough
to crack the rotation next season, especially given that the lockout
will probably last so long that it will knock out all league sanctioned
summer leagues and could wipe out any regular version of summer workouts
and training camp.
The Bulls will be content to draft two players and let them learn Tom Thibodeau's system for a year or two.
I won't be surprised if the Bulls would go conservative on draft day and keep their picks rather than packaging them up with expirings/non-guaranteeds for a high priced player like Andre Iguodala.
There's certainly some merit in that without knowing what is comign down the pipe in terms of the new collective bargaining agreement. The absolute worst case scenario would be to get locked into a situation where you couldn't keep Derrick Rose because of the new salary cap situation.
However, the odds of that are just so extremely unlikely. I agree that the owners will take back significant salary from the players in this CBA, but I find it hard to believe the NBA forces existing teams to immediately break up due to the new rule.
I can come up with a million iterations of different CBA ideas which are reasonable and allow teams to continue to have flexibility, work within the current system, and still lower money. I expect the owners will push for such a solution.
While they do want to trim salaries, they need to trim them across the board not trim them by just removing flexibility to add salary or remove the MLE. Most of the rich owners are the ones paying heavy amounts of luxury tax anyway, so removing these exceptions isn't really saving the struggling teams much.
In reality, they just need to lower the overall salary cap by 10 million while keeping the same rules and phasing in a luxury tax to make things work out for everyone.
So what do you do if you're the Bulls? Do you spend with an uncertain financial landscape coming up? If you do, then you have a good chance of finding the last piece to the championship team with some chance of hurting yourself financially (likely worse case scenario is that there's a lower hard cap and an amnesty clause and the Bulls need to waive a high priced player).
I think it's worth taking the chance, because the odds are, it works out in your favor with the new agreement, but the Bulls have certainly been conservative in the past, and it shouldn't surprise us if they are again.
The potential solution to this problem?
He's a player who might be available due to salary reasons from Memphis. The Grizzlies need to work out an extension with Mayo and Marc Gasol, and they're far more likely to choose Marc Gasol.
Maybe they extend both, but Memphis isn't a team that can afford to spend a lot in salary, so it's certainly possible they'll have to choose. Maybe they've already chosen internally.
A deal of Bogans + Pargo + Lucas + cap room + draft picks matches O.J. Mayo without any other players coming back. Memphis saves themselves some present salary, gets a couple of cheap contracts for the next four seasons, and gets something back for a player they can't afford to extend later.
Chicago gets a player that can come in and start next season at shooting guard. A player who can create off the dribble, provide secondary ball handling, shoot the ball, and has the athleticism to defend. Mayo's still on his rookie contract for this season, so if the new CBA puts in a non-phased in hard cap, then Chicago could just let him go and would only be out a couple 1st rounders for giving it a shot.
This is a great hedge for Chicago to bring in potential long term talent (and likely have to pay for if they keep him) while still giving them flexibility to have an out if the new CBA crushes things.
Will Memphis take that offer? Hard to say. If they had gone out to the Spurs in round one then the answer would have likely been yes. With their extended playoff run, they'll be under a lot more pressure to bring everyone back. We'll see what happens.