Bulls scared of luxury tax, pursue Hamilton instead of Richardson

Well, I said it for awhile, I thought the Bulls would be scared of the tax, and here we are. The Bulls are going to pursue a considerably worse player in order to save some money.

It's not over yet. Things could still change, but here we go again.

Sources said the Bulls never offered the full, four-year midlevel exception of roughly $20.5 million to Richardson, citing luxury-tax concerns.

It's not the worst.

Richard Hamilton is a considerably better player than Keith Bogans. This will be a big upgrade for the team to add Hamilton, and I think a bigger upgrade than what the Heat made by adding Shane Battier [who quite frankly strikes me as a bit redundant there].

However, I don't like him as much as Jason Richardson, JR Smith, or Jamal Crawford [2 of the 3 will certainly cost more, who knows about Smith].

Rip Hamilton likes to run curls around screens and perform catch and shoots from mid range. That's his primary use as a scorer. The problem with that is this offense requires running lots of plays for Hamilton to get his shot off.

He doesn't generate his own shot particularly well nor does he shoot a high percentage [or high volume] from beyond the arc. Quite frankly, the Bulls needed improved shooting or shot creation out of the shooting guard position and Hamilton doesn't really provide a whole lot of either.

On the other hand, he isn't someone who defenses will simply leave alone and can certainly punish them if they do. He's historically been a solid defender, but he'll be 34 in a couple of months, and I'm not sure how much he has in the tank at that end. He's got quality size though and has always been extremely well conditioned.

All in all, he's a considerable upgrade, if the Bulls are to land him, relative to what they had last season at the two guard position, but the fear of paying the tax for Jason Richardson [who was averaging 19 points with the Suns before being traded to the Magic last year] should concern fans.

If Jason Richardson on an MLE deal is too rich for the Bulls, this team will struggle mightily to ever win a title. Certainly a full MLE would add considerable salary in the long run, but Richardson is more valuable than Brewer, Korver, and Watson and may have been willing to sign for roughly the same price as Brewer/Watson if we locked him up for four years.

Quite simply, the Bulls aren't going to get a better player than Richardson at the MLE.

Granted, I don't want to jump the shark here.

It's worth noting that:
1: Rip Hamilton hasn't signed yet [still needs to clear waivers]
2: Jason Richardson is still available and could still potentially sign
3: We don't know if Richardson would have taken a full MLE
4: If there is some other plan in place to also help improve the team [Jamal Crawford? Unlikely IMO].

All that said, be prepared to ride the Rip Hamilton express this year.


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  • Why does Crawford have any appeal? He was worthless against us in the playoffs.

    I think Rip and Jrich are quite similar in appeal. I might lean towards Rip. I think he will have something to prove.

    I think we need to think long and hard about how to get Billups. If we could trade Korver for him and get Rip then I think we would have some warriors ready for the playoffs.

  • In reply to JayJohnstone:

    Hard to imagine how we get Billups.

    Let's say he clears waivers. Why does he sign with us to play behind Derrick Rose when he could sign with Miami and be the starting PG? Better team and bigger role there.

    If he doesn't clear waivers, are you really giving up a 1st rounder to trade for Billups? Where and how much would he really play? Bulls would presumably have Rose, Hamilton, Brewer, Korver, Watson, and Deng to main three positions.

    Which of those guys is Billups better than at this stage of his career? Probably Watson but unless we go with Rose/Billups as a backcourt for 10 minutes a night, it's hard to see him getting more than 10 minutes a night as backup PG.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yea...it's a long shot....maybe Billups hates Riley as much as I do.

    If we did get him, Billups and Rose could play together.

  • In reply to JayJohnstone:

    The Bulls should be focused on getting a above-avg SG or Howard and not on backup role players. What is the big thing about Billups which CJ Watson cannot do. And plus, he seems to be acting like a d-bag with all his comments. When do these guys realize that their careers of going around is only 10-12 years and they can sit in their preferred place until they die without having to work. They are not in a typical job where you cannot retire until you are 65-70 years old.
    And we saw that in the World C'ships that him and Rose didn't work well. Somehow I feel Billups has been overrated for his supposed big-shots

  • In reply to JayJohnstone:

    I think it's quite simple. It's obvious that the Bulls problems did not stem from a lack of shooting. It stemmed from a lack of CREATIVE shooting. In other words, knowledgeable Bulls fans want Crawford because they understand that he makes it harder for teams to roll over the Bulls when they take the ball out of Rose's hands...

    Richardson is now a one-dimensional jump shooter, so he no longer creates off the dribble like his days in Golden State. And Richardson would be good as a role player because of the new wrinkle he brings to the offense (forcing teams to chase him around) but he is not the answer at the 2 spot...

    Bulls should make a run at Crawford. You trade Bogans and Korver if you have to. Keep Brewer (we need someone to guard those 2's and 3's). But you trade for Crawford because he does the very thing the Bulls lacked in the playoffs. Someone to help Rose with the ball handling and making plays off the dribble.

  • In reply to themurph:

    And the screen player I mentioned is Rip not Richardson...My mistake...But the point: Bulls should go after Crawford....

  • Hamilton is an upgrade and won't tie the Bulls down. There's still plenty of flexibility with movable pieces on our bench and picks and such.

    If we know for a fact that Richardson would've settled for the MLE, which is unlikely, then I could see how the move is really questionable, but even then I would like to know how many years Richardson would have demanded. If J-Rich won't take MLE, then there's really nothing to discuss. He can't be had, so land they guy you can actually nab.

    Richardson is definitely the better player right now, but it's also not like he's a guaranteed championship. All of these guys have baggage, so why not take the guy with the lowest level of commitment? I really don't think any of these guys are actually the "long-term" SG.

    The other thing I would hold onto is the possibility of adding JR Smith in March, either to back up Hamilton if he succeeds or to replace him if he is lackluster.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    Well we refused to offer the full MLE which is 4 years 21.3 million. Who knows if we'd have gotten him if we offered, but it's a bit disturbing that we didn't offer.

  • Lets face it, the Bulls got lucky with Rip. By getting waived it opened up some new possibilities for this Bulls team.

    I still say we need a Crawford type player coming off the bench to compete with miami.

    maybe even look into bringing Hinrich back.

  • In reply to soldier01:

    Wouldn't surprise me if we get Hinrich next year, but I see no way that happens this year.

  • The article says the Bulls are ready to sign him for two years at 5 MILLION a year. That's crazy. The guy will be 34 come playoffs. He's developed an attitude problem and doesn't create offense much anymore, he was never a three-point shooter! Just like Chicago to set its sights lower. Rip Hamilton: Because signing veteran role players to pair with a superstar worked so well in Cleveland and Orlando.

    If they don't also make a play at Jamal Crawford, or consider a trade for OJ Mayo, I think Chicago's championship dreams are deteriorated this year.

    I don't think the signing of Shane Battier was redundant. He locks down Deng and LeBron stops Rose again. That's what other teams are concerned with. Winning. Making moves. Not staying stagnant. The Heat may pick up Chauncey Billups too and maybe another bench player. Then they're not just three guys. The Bulls had enough trouble with just three guys. If nothing else comes up, this will be a sad day for Bulls fans, even if they don't realize it yet.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    A lot of people talk about how Lebron stopped Rose, but in reality it wasn't Lebron that stopped him. It was the double team that included Lebron. The few times Lebron tried to stop him 1 on 1, Rose blew by him almost every time. Even if the Heat throw Battier out there and put Lebron on Rose, as long as the Bulls have other shooters out there so Wade can't double Rose with Lebron, it shouldn't be that big of an issue.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    i disagree in a way. The problem was Rose couldn't shoot or pass when double-teamed and there was nobody else who could even bring up the ball. If they did, the guy who was double-teaming Rose can slide over and stop him easily. That's why we need a ball handler like Jamal Crawford for those times(I am not saying Jamal is the best player out there). But,other than Mayo, Jamal is the best bet of the remaining guys. Otherwise, it is going to be a high until we meet Miami.in the playoffs

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    We're saying the same thing, the problem for Rose was the double team not that Lebron could stop Rose individually. A ball handler/shooter is exactly what they need to help prevent/reduce the frequency of the late game double team. Wade and Battier will have to stay home on their man and won't be able to double team if there is another scoring threat on the court.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Exactly that what I was trying to say lately !! we need a SG who can handle the ball well enough to allow Rose to play off the ball. That's why crawford and afflalo should be our only targets. Talking about trade, we should go for Monta Ellis or Hinrich.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    why not ben gordon? he would be a perfect fit

  • In reply to mepeterser2451:

    Gordon is undersized, plays no D, and needs the ball in his hands too much to play with Rose.

    As for Crawford, Hamilton had a higher assist percentage, lower turnover percentage, and better FG% and 3PT%. He's a better defender too.

    Crawford is way overrated. Luol Deng shot better from 3 (by a miniscule amount).

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    i'm not worried about D. i wan't offense. and ben gordon is the most underachieving player with the most potential right now. get rid of boozer, or even korver and you'll be improving the team without losing defense.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Schaumburfan, you make too much sense it's not even funny. You are right. It seems like some Bulls fans just don't get it.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    I do agree with this as well, but Miami also does rotate, recover, & close out like nobody else.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    Hunter, I agree on all counts. Still, while I think acquiring Battier was a good move by Miami, I'm still not sold on them as a lock to win a title this year. I think the Bulls played very poorly throughout the playoffs. When they were on their game however, they looked great. So I wouldn't go handing Miami the title just yet. I would've liked to see Jamal back in the fold and would definitely like to see OJ Mayo in a Bulls uniform. Lets hope management gets creative in the future and also unties the purse strings.

  • In reply to Hunter:

    I think you're absolutely right, Hunter, on all your points. Agree 100%.

    I don't think Rip Hamilton is any better than playing Brewer more minutes, and I have never liked the guy personally. He does seem to have an attitude problem, a lot of things he does are just plain annoying (like the mask or that stupid dribble he does at the foul stripe), and I have seen other Bulls recently visibly showing their dislike for the guy. The only way this cheap deal is made right, is if they also make a trade & just need the 2 guard depth.

    Shane Battier was exactly what the Heat need. 3pt shooting & stifling perimeter D may be redundant, but he is a glue guy who help teams win wherever he goes. Ultimate team guy, is a defensive & emotional leader, & often calls out the opposing offensive plays while on D. The Miami Heat have gotten much better with Battier over Rip.

  • I don't see the Bulls unwillingness to offer the full MLE to Richardson as a big deal. He's not going to put us over the hump.

    If we can get Rip for a cheaper contract, I think it's the better deal. Reggie Miller and Ray Allen have showed people that players who master off-the-ball movement can still be highly effective despite their age. Derrick seems to like him too. The key to make Rip works is Thibs. And I think I like the chance. Thibs playbook for Ray Allen and Korver fits Rip's style. Despite Thibs' basketball-scientist reputation, his experience with the Celtics should help him in building a positive relationship with veteran players like Hamilton.

  • In reply to Gaga83:

    forgot to add that Rip is not a sureshot answer in getting the Bulls over the hump. However, in the playoff, Rip's experience and leadership will be very valuable. the problem with a young team like the Bulls is sometime they have trouble in reading the pace/rhythm/tempo of the game; they don't know how to switch gears effectively yet. This is where I think Rip's experience and knowledge will come to play. I always like Rip as a player since his college days. He's a very good basketball player. Before the clash with coach last year I've never heard anything bad about him. Maybe that one game where he got into it with Tyrus Thomas. But that's it.

  • In reply to Gaga83:

    I think Jason Richardson probably would have increased our chances to win a title by about 5% relative to Richard Hamilton.

    You can argue that increase isn't worth paying for, but then what is worth paying for?

    Bulls fans have been so conditioned to be scared of the tax. We're not exactly the Timberwolves here where paying the tax means the owners mount huge losses.

    The Bulls could probably have an 80 million dollar payroll, even when the super tax kicks in, and still be the third most profitable team in the NBA.

    Jerry Reinsdorf can choose how to run his business anyway that he desires. We have no control over that, however, he would never enforce such profit standards on the White Sox. The White sox operate at 8-9% profit margin over the past 12 years and won a title.

    The Bulls work on a 45% profit margin. I mean it's simply ridiculous the lack of willingness Reinsdorf has to spend on the Bulls given how much money he's made on them.

    He's made 100,000% of his initially investment already. Sorry, he owes the fans, whom have given him their hard earned money, far more than this.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I read somewhere that Richardson wanted more than MLE. I'm okay with Hamilton, though I greatly preferred your Iguodala trade scenario, Doug. By the way, way to pull that 5% increase thing out of thin air...meaningless "statistics" that can't be refuted FTW!

  • In reply to punkedgepc:

    Not that it has meaning, but I talked to a few people in the league who felt Richardson would have signed with us for the MLE.

    This is backed up by the fact that:
    1: He didn't agree with Orlando until after we had a handshake agreement with Rip.
    2: We never offered him the full MLE

    It seems odd to assume Richardson wanted Orlando the whole time but didn't sign with them until after he knew for certain he wouldn't get an offer from us.

    The 5% number is irrelevant, it wasn't a number meant to be refuted or not refuted, it was meant to set up a question: "How much is it worth paying for X% increase in your chance to win a title?". Bulls ownership has a high threshold for that X% while fans probably have no threshold. We want ownership to pay the luxury tax for even a 2% increase because we want the best team on the floor no matter what.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I think we are all mistaken here with management. I heard that a lot of owners would rather have a 10 year playoff team than a championship, its a lot more profitable as long as you have one marketable star (Rose). I think Reinsdorf figures he can milk this one because even though we may bitch and moan about all this things, as long as the Bulls are a second round playoff team we won't stop watching... and we all know this to be true. The only way this could be remedied is for Rose to take the fashionable method an start threatening to ask for a trade if the team isn't improved. It doesnt seem to be his style though. Hopefully he'll take a stand before signing an extension.

  • Don't remember the last time Rip Hamilton played without the headband. Do the Bulls apply the Ben Wallace rule?

  • In reply to supercesto:

    They might let it go with him. He needs the headband to help secure the top of his face mask!

  • Screw jerry reinsdorf.

  • In reply to pinkizdead:

    + 1,000,000

  • the celtics are picking up david west for some closet junk (jermaine o'neal)... Looks like the bulls will be happy to move down the ladder for now.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    how about reinsdorf sells the team to someone who actually likes basketball

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I don't get this David West to Boston rumor. How can they get him for such junk? Doesn't make sense. Also, do they really need Garnett, Bass, and West? I wonder if there is some follow up trade including one of them. Unless they're going to play small and use one of them at center.

  • In reply to NateTags:

    I think garnett is center by default.

  • Why do some Bulls fans feel like signing Hamilton is the best deal? Its not the best deal for the Bulls cause as Doug stated, he has to come off of screens to get the majority of his points. I dont recall him being a creator
    slasher going to the basket. Its very frustrating hearing every am in the league making
    significant improvments to their teams while the Bulls sit and wait for the cheap players. Haomilton wikl not

  • In reply to Reese1:

    be enough to beat Miami. Excuse typing error in last comment.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Worth noting that Miami added Shane Battier and Eddy Curry. I think it's fair to say the Bulls adding Rip Hamilton is a bigger improvement than that.

    Now if Miami also gets Chauncy Billups because he basically told everyone he'd be a nuclear time bomb if you pick him up off of waivers then I think we might be in trouble.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Bulls were already in trouble... this is not Miami improving to beat a bulls team that was better than them last year, this is miami pulling further away and looking to make sure no one is better than them (ie. western conference teams).

  • Just don't see it. The difference between Rip Hamilton and Jason Richardson is enough to know for a fact the franchise doesn't care about winning? That doesn't seem all that sensible to me.

  • Crawford or Richardson just may end up with the Pacers who has the money to sign either players. The Pacers IMO will challenge the Bulls for the central division cause they have the inside outside tyoe of game that will cause problems for a lot of teams. Watch out for the Pacers, you heard it here first.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    They'll be good, but they're not challenging the Bulls. Not until they get an MVP like Rose, & they don't have anyone even close.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Pacers will be a 7th or 8th seed and may come close to 0.500 but that's it.

    I like RIP. Will make us better in the playoffs.

  • Rip fits perfect with the "expend more energy than you" philosophy the bulls used last year to win 62 games in the regular season. His defence won't allow easy offence and his offence will make the other team work the entire possession. Come playoff time his vetran experience will help stabilize the team as well as gain referential treatment. Plus the price is right for flexibility. Sweetness if it happens.

  • Agree with Doug about Reinsdorf. Reinsdorf has to take a hit in terms of a bad contract. Otherwise, sell the damn team to somebody with another line of business who has the Bulls as his hobby toy(like Cuban, Arison or Dolan) rather than it being his cash-cow. That's the problem with three teams in Chicago(Bulls, Bears, White Sox). The new generation has not branched out to anything new and they are dependent on their sports franchises for their money. Which basically means, they have to control it like a regular business and not throw money around for luxury tax. This is ridiculous what KC Johnson is reporting about the Bulls worrying about Luxury Tax. This should not even be an issue. Heck, if Bogans is the right fit...they should be paying him 10 Million.

  • My sense is that you are somewhat correct, but that your general anger toward the Bulls money management has colored your veiw a bit too strongly.

    Of the 3 players, I would rate Richardson #1, Hamilton #2, and Crawford #Garbage, but still better than bogans.

    Crawford is the youngest and best athlete, but his shooting is vastly subpar 41% career from the field, 35% from 3. He is, simply put a chucker who goes on a streak every now and then, and probably does so against bad defenses(ie non playoff)and second units. A worse shooting Ben Gordon.

    I don't think that either Crawford or Richardson take a full MLE, whether offered or not.

    If you can do a sign & trade where you only give up our expirings and not Watson, Brewer, Korver then Richardson would be the move. I guess that Orlando migh be interested in an S&T for salary cap relief. If you have to give up roatational talent then I am not sure that Richardson is enough of an upgrade to what you might be losing in Watson, Brewer or Korver, never mind if Gibson or Asik had been the price.

    I have never been a huge Hamiltion fan as a personality, but statistically he is at least as good of a shooter as Richardson, and that is without playing with Steve Nash(where Richardsons by far best statistical seasons were produced). Richardson is a little better from 3(the Nash effect), Hamilton a little better overall.

    Hamilton is 2 or 3 years older, but he strikes me as one of those Ray Allen fitness freaks, who might be able to maintain his level of performance longer than Richardson, and we a likely to only sign him to a 2 yr deal anyway, so at the end of his deal he will be the same age as Richarson would be at the end of a 4 yr deal.

    It seems clear already that the reduced MLE has had its desired effect, nobody is signing for it, those guys are all going full free agent and getting $8 million per.

    Would I prefer Richardson for 4 years at $20 million over Hamilton for 2 at $ 10 million, probably for the next 2 seasons, maybe not so much in seasons 3&4.

    Hamilton seems like a reasonable move for the present that will preserve as much future flexibility as possible. Remember, in 20103-14 we will be an amnesty player, either the last year of Deng, or the last 2 years of Boozer.

    He is a massive upgrade over Bogans, and we get him for nothing(talent wise). If he gets back to starters minutes he should get his average back up to 17-18 ppg. Given the Thibs effect on D, I expect that his D will be above average at his position. Without having the benefit of seeing him play day in, day out he seems to be about the equivalent of Deng at the 2 guard position just older, but maybe a better conditioned althlete.

    I am not predicting 70 wins and a repeat three peat, like I did the night that we acquired another former Piston(Rodman), but this move clearly makes us better than last season in critical need area. Is it enough to get us past Miami, and stay ahead of NY, that more likely depends on whether or not Bozo the Boozer recovers from his turf head and turf heart injuries.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    FYI, I have sources telling me that Richardson definitely would have taken the MLE, this is backed up by his actions as well.

    He didn't agree with Orlando until he knew he had no offer from us.

  • Rip is definitely an upgrade on KB and only giving him 2 years allows for flexiblity down the road; BUT I have to agree with the comments above - If JR isn't prepared to pay the Tax there is no way we will be able to get the SG we need and to keep Taj and Omer.
    I'm with the majority here who would want AAA but as we know that isn't going to happen and we therefore have to go for the best we can get. If we get Rip I can't see a use for Kyle on the team anymore. Packaging him (some expirings) and a pick should be enough to get a S&T for JRich or Crawford or use in a trade for the likes of Mayo, Reddick or Lee. Houston and esp Orl (post Dwight Trade) are in rebuild phase so would be happy to shed salary/get picks. Lets hope GarPax are thinking the same thing!!

    One thing that is REALLY p***ing me off is the attitude of Billups, Arenas and O'Neal. "If I get picked up/traded to a non-contender I'll retire". Talk about throwing toys out of the pram. All 3 are vets who have made loadz of money and are now going to disrespect the League and their fellow players. I don't have a problem with Bibby last year giving up all his salary so he could go and play on the team he wanted or free agents taking lower salaries to play for the team of their choice but once they are under a contract they no longer have the choice. As they all say "Its a business we have to do what's best for ourselves" Well guess what players - owners can do the same thing once you have signed a contract. I f you don't want to be traded take less money and have a no trade clause in your contract (like Kobe) sorry Rant Over!!! Grrrrrrrrrrrr!

  • I've always said it : this management sucks.
    Here are their rules :

    1. Overrating players
    2. Standing pat
    3. Being Cheap

    They got lucky because they drafted MJ. Now got lucky drafting Rose with 1,7% odd. If only because of Rose is bulls are that good.

    Trust me in the nba, in the nba you need 2 stars to win. It's Howard, Monta ellis or Bust !!!

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Monta Ellis is only a star in his own wildest fantasies. To put him in the same sentence as Howard is a joke.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Name me 2 SG better than monta Ellis except Wade and kobe.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Off the top of my head I'd rate Manu, Joe Johnson, Kevin Martin and Eric Gordon as better. Iggy as well if you want to count him as a SG which I wouldn't but some people do. Then you have guys like Ray Allen and Afflalo who are certainly better fits on the Bulls team, if not necessarily better in a vacuum.

    And just because the SG position in the NBA is rather shallow at the moment doesn't make the dregs that play there stars.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    I was with you until you said Monta Ellis.

    How do Monta Ellis and Dwight Howard fall into the same category for you?

    Ellis would be a poor fit, because he's an on the ball, PG sized player. We'd not maximize his abilities because they overlap Rose too much, and he'd force us into an undersized backcourt.

    This isn't to say I wouldn't take Ellis in a vacuum, I would. He's better than Hamilton by a significant margin, but Ellis and Rose would complement each other worse than Ellis and Curry while GS has been rumored to want to move Ellis because of their poor fit.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Monta Ellis perfect role is to average 40 points for the Cavs... that's the ideal career for him... poor man's iverson,

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Ellis can do everything the bulls need right now. He can play 1 and 2. He would allow rose to play off the ball. He can shoot 2pt and 3pt. He can drive and draw fouls. He can defend (nba 3rd best stealer last season). On top of that he would be our first scoring option. It's a very good point because it's difficult to have your PG being also the best scorer (Rose).

    Ok he's undersized but remember Rose and hinrich together, Kidd and terry, Wade and chalmers. Are those undersized backcourts that bad ??

  • If I try to be positive I can at least say that Hamilton would be good in Korver's role of running around multiple screens ... but it's a stretch calling that being positive, since Korver was also the second guard off the bench ...

    I just don't really feel Rip Hamilton is still a quality starter in the NBA anymore, really disappointed if he's all the Bulls end up getting. Maybe Richardson wouldn't come for the MLE, I don't know, but if he would then only getting Hamilton is a major blunder. The only circumstance I'd be OK with it is if we have some sort of arrangement that JR Smith will sign later in the season and Hamilton is being used as a place holder. And even then, you're relying on a handshake deal with JR freaking Smith, which seems crazy in itself.

    Still disappointed we've heard nothing about the Bulls chasing hard after Afflalo, I'd feel a lot better if we even had a story that Denver flat out rejected our offers. Surely Denver has to be somewhat open to the idea of letting him go in the right deal, you don't want to be paying a role player (even a very good one) 10 million a year on a rebuilding team. Don't really know if we could offer enough for Denver to do a deal but surely the Bulls should be going after him as the #1 target since he's the best SG out there that might possibly be acquired.

  • OK apparently Richardson is signing for 4/25 with the Magic. WTF Howard is getting traded why would the Magic offer him this? Doesn't make a lot of sense but it's more than the Bulls could offer so maybe we were never in with a shot for him.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Before Richardson was traded to the Magic he was averaging 19 points a game for the Suns. I think it's fair to say that Richardson has potential to be a value contract at 6 million a year even if they can't keep Howard.

  • This is kinda outta left field as everything I like to post is, but if Howard really wants to go to the Nets they will need to clear about 5 million in cap space. I liked Damion James last year in the draft and still think he could be a decent NBA player. That being said I was wondering if we could try to poach him from the Nets for one of our non guaranteed contracts so they could clear up cap space. Anybody else like this?

  • In reply to FreeJoakim:

    Damion Jones only makes $1.2 mil on his rookie contract. Eliminating him would not help New Jersey clear much cap space. NJ will keep their rookie contracts and try to move a higher salaried player.

  • I think the better players in the league have figured the Bulls owner and management out. They aren't willing to spend to put a championship caliber team and players on the floor. It has to be all talk from Thibs and the players when they say they can win a championship with the team from last year. I guess it will take getting another beat down from Miami for them to realize they aren't quite there yet without a quality perimeter game. I'm not going to overlook the Knicks either cause with Tyson Chandler signing with them they just may sweep the season series with the Bulls instead of only losing once to the Bulls last year.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Oh and good luck J Crawford with whomever team you do sign with, you could've been a nice addition to a Bulls team that's close to being a contender.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I love Tyson Chandler and when he's healthy and in the right head space he's a real game changer on defense. It's a great move by the Knicks because he's the right type of guy they needed. But lets not forget he's missed a ton of games and was traded 4 times (once that didn't go through because of a failed physical) on his last contract for a reason. Which Chandler the Knicks actually get will be interesting to see. Maybe it's an inspired move, but I think there's an equal chance Knicks fans hate Chandler as much as we hate Boozer by this time next year.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Chandler's a high quality player, but he's not a 15 million dollar a year player.

    On the other hand, cost doesn't mean anything to the Knicks, their revenues are so high that even the ultra punitive tax won't affect them.

    As such, their only goal is to get the best player, and once they saw the writing on the wall that they couldn't get Chris Paul as a FA, they went out and got whom they felt was the best.

    Nice job by them.

    They'll struggle a bit with filling out the rest of the team though, because they have no money, but players will take a discount to play there.

    I think the greater fear for NY, IMO, will be whether or not Amare can stay healthy and productive.

  • If Richardson signed for $6 mil per (4/$25) knowing Dwight Howard was leaving, imo, that means he would have taken $5 mil per (4/$21) from the Bulls. Because $5 mil per is close enough, it’s not like he got an offer for $8 mil per like Caron.

    As KC Johnson reported, BULLS NEVER OFFERED FULL MLE TO RICHARDSON. This Orlando signing proves that is true. It proves Bulls did not want to sign a 4 year contract because of luxury tax reasons. IMO, its official that Bulls could have signed Richardson for the full MLE, but chose Hamilton on a 2 year deal instead.

    With the Hamilton signing Bulls are right at the luxury tax threshold. IMO, Bulls want to extend both Asik and Derrick Rose for 2012 as well as Taj for 2013. Those 3 extensions will add an additional $20+ mil per year to Bulls payroll.

    Yesterday on the radio I heard Charles Barkley commenting that Crawford was best available fit for Bulls because he was the FA who could create his own shot off the dribble, and that is what Bulls don’t get from Korver or Deng. Barkley then said Richardson also had difficulty creating his own shot and that was a problem in Phoenix,

    KC Johnson also reported that Bulls had talked to Jamal Crawford, but he refused to sign for $5 mil per and requested a S&T to get a higher salary which Bulls refused.

  • In reply to Edward:

    It's easy to say it's "close enough" when it's not your money ... some guys are out to get every penny they can, maybe that was the case for Richardson, maybe it wasn't, we'll never know. The fact he's willing to sign for the Magic who probably wont even be a playoff team once Howard is traded suggests it's about the $$$ for him.

    As far as not offering the full MLE, I'm cool with it so long as it was about years and not about $/year. Not locking up anyone to long term deals gives the Bulls big cap space by amnestying Boozer in 2014/15 when Deng comes off the books. Locking someone up for 4 years would eat into that. If they offered Richardson a 3 year MLE level deal so he expired at the same time as Deng and he turned it down then I can live with it. If they tried to get cheap and offer less than the full MLE then that's pretty crappy.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    You have to examine the totality of the evidence...
    Richardson waited until AFTER Bulls had committed to Hamilton to resign with his own team. That suggests he was waiting for a full MLE offer from the Bulls but never got it. And as KC Johnson reported Bulls were in contact with Richardson about signing but never actually tendered the MLE offer, choosing Hamilton instead when Detroit waived him. Only after that went down and Bulls are out of the equation, does Richardson resign with his own team.

  • In reply to Edward:

    He also signed just after the Magic all but announced they're giving up on keeping Dwight Howard. I think that's the more likely factor: once he realised Howard was gone there was no point holding out for a better deal in the hopes the Magic felt they had to re-sign him at all costs to get Howard to stay. More like he had better gobble up the Magic's ridiculous offer before they come to their senses and pull it off the table.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    I mentioned the Howard situation in my first post – didn’t feel the need to repeat it as it’s been well-known for some time Howard is leaving Orlando. It’s another piece of evidence supporting the conclusion that Bulls could have had Richardson for full MLE, but chose not to.

    Richardson was in contact with Bulls and waiting for full MLE offer, only after Detroit waives and Bulls commit to Rip Hamilton does Richardson accept his own team’s offer, even knowing full well Howard is gone and Orlando is going nowhere. Bulls were his first choice, only when that choice evaporated did Richardson resign with his own team, even with dim prospects and for similar money.

  • In reply to Edward:

    I don't think it's obvious at all ... the Magic had been sticking to the line they were going to hold onto Howard, hope to have a good season and have him change his mind. As stupid as that strategy may have been, it's been what they'd been pushing up until very recently.

    You can just as easily read it the other way around though: the Bulls went after Rip when it became clear Richardson wasn't going to sign. We don't know what goes on behind closed doors so we can only guess. My guess is that Richardson probably would have picked the best offer no matter what: if not the Bulls I'm sure he could find some other decent team that would give him the full MLE, but he chose the soon to be cellar dweller Magic's higher offer anyway.

    And as I said before, we don't really know what they offered to Richardson, just that it wasn't the absolute maximum they could. If it was a shorter deal because they have plans to aim for cap space down the road then it makes sense they'd hide behind the luxury tax smoke screen. They'd hardly say "Yeah we're going to cut Boozer at some point so we don't want contracts that go beyond that" and piss off a player they're planning on being a starter for them next year.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Obviously, as outlined in my posts I disagree.

  • Jason Richardson has just re-signed with the magic !!! Bulls are the best organization ever. Omg!

    I remember last season, everybody were telling me bulls will sign a SG with the MLE then we don't need carmelo. Now where are those SGs ??? I don't know why u guys have been always trusting this management.

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    The owners have a larger part of the income now with the bri split now at 50. I understand the tax is more punitive but if they have more money to work with should be able to go into tax and have a similar return on investment to some degree. Would be great to see a comparison of paying luxury tax under the old split and under the new one at different levels. And Bulls profit level on both.

  • Even perennial and willing luxury tax payer Mark Cuban has changed his strategy and is avoiding the luxury tax. Story below:


    Reinsdorf, as we all know, was always against paying the tax even when other teams willingly paid it. Now, however - avoiding the tax just became fashionable.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The Mavs and Bulls aren't really in the same financial situation though. It's not so much not being able to afford the luxury tax for the Mavs. They could never actually afford to pay it, Cuban was sinking his own money into it and I imagine would continue to do so if it made sense. The problem is now being in the luxury tax reduces your options: smaller MLE, harder to make trades. So there are sound basketball reasons to avoid it except for a sure thing.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    What I'm trying to say is that there's no implication of Cuban being cheap here ... the Mavs are trying to get under the tax (and indeed under the cap) for purely basketball reasons. I think you are right it will be fashionable though, it makes good sense to stay under the tax if you can because of the extra flexibility it gives you. I doubt we'll see teams with the mid-2000s Knicks style payroll again because it's going to be very hard to now.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Wait for the 2015 Knicks, they'll probably be the same way.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yes, I think the Knicks and Lakers may continue to be consistent luxury taxpayers. Doubtful about any other teams, though. Don't Knicks and Lakers revenue streams greatly exceed other teams, with Bulls in 3rd place?

  • I am a little surprised to see that the best that Richardson could do was 5/25. But to me that actually adds some justification to the Bulls not offering the full MLE. Richardson will be over paid in years 3-4 when he will be the same age as Hamiltion will be in years 1-2 with the Bulls.

    Does the difference between Richardson and Hamiltion equal the difference between beating Miami and not beating Miami, I doubt it, as Doug said maybe a 5% difference.

    The Bulls have 4 guys on long term 8 figure per deals, the rest of the team has to be filled out with guys on short term (2 years with options) and $5 million or less. Unless of course you can add a superstar, who is better than Deng, Boozer and Noah, if not quite as good as Rose.

    I think that the Bulls are being prudent in husbanding their resources, and I bet nobody will be complaining in 2013 when we will not be committed to guys like Watson, Korver, Brewer, Hamilton and Richardson.

    I do not know how things will eventually work out, but I would rather have Taj, and especially Asik long term than any of those guys. Buy 2013 the Bulls will already be looking to build the second or "next" Derrick Rose championship contender and the most likely candidates from the current roster to be on that team going forward(absent a D Howard trade) are Noah, Asik and Taj. One of Deng or Boozer will be amnestied and the other will be gone in a year after that anyway, with Mirotic and Charlottes #1 coming down the pike.

    As I said earlier Hamilton and JRich are more or less the same shooting percentage wise, even if their games are somewhat different, so why pay a premium, either in years or talent given up. 2 years from now who knows who the Bulls might be able to get as Rose's new backcourt companion. I am guessing that whoever it is will be better than a 33-34 year old J Rich.

    Hey, maybe we can still flip Hamilton and one of Watson, Brewer, Korver for Afflalo or Mayo.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree with you. It will be interesting to see how Hamilton and Brewer perform at SG, and if Jimmy Butler can contribute. Looking forward to the season!

  • I don't understand the complaints.

    It's not like Jason Richardson was taking this team any farther than Rip will. Doug said 5% better, and even if that's the case it doesn't make any sense to pay over twice as much money for a player that is only 5% better than the cheaper player.

    Personally, I'd rather have the flexibility to keep guys on shorter contracts, it's much easier to adjust your roster that way. Again it would be different if JRich was A LOT better than Rip, but he isn't.

    Besides, JRich signed for $1 million a year OVER the full MLE. Edward claims that the money wasn't that big a deal- then why didn't he take the Bulls offer, even if it was for a little less than the full MLE? He wouldn't.

    The Bulls' FO is doing things the way they did during the dynasty- you have two or three main players making most of the money, and the role players are interchangable and on short-term deals. Forget the LT, it works because it keeps your roster flexible.

    The Bullsville Blog - http://bullsville.com

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    But Bulls never made the MLE offer to Richardson. Richardson and Bulls were in contact and each expressed interest in the other. But while Richardson was waiting for the Bulls offer, it never materialized. Instead, Detroit waived Rip, who quickly came to an agreement with Bulls. And the next day, Richardson finally accepted his own team's offer.

  • And Rip isn't the lousy 3-point shooter he was when he came into the league- over the last 4 seasons he's shooting about 3 a night and hitting 37% of them.

  • Is this all it will take to get Jamal Crawford in a S&T???
    Bulls could match or do a little better than this Knicks offer with their non-guaranteed trio of Pargo/Lucas/Bogans.


  • In reply to Edward:

    The Bulls aren't trying to win a championship Edward, but their doing a Hell of a job staying away from the luxzury tax. The Knicks will be kicking the Bulls butts again this season. Two former Bulls that Krause loved, drafted and traded for in the draft of 2001 when he was GM will be reunited with the Knicks in Jamal Crawford and Tyson Chandler. How's that for sticking to the Bulls owner for being cheap???... LOL LOL....

  • In reply to Reese1:

    The Knicks probable starting line up may look something like this... Bibby, Crawford in the backcourt Melo, Amare, and Chandler up front. And let me guess... people will say theres only one basketball. The point is that the Knicks are trying and doing an exceptional job bringing in talent athletes, and scoring when needed. If they can put in some descent defensive strategy with Mike Woodsen ( former Atlanta and Crawford's coach ), I see Knicks and Heat in the East Finals. That will be an exciting and fun series to watch. Sorry D Rose but owner too cheap, I wouldnt sign extension.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The Bulls don't want Jamal Crawford IMO.

  • Mavericks pick up Odom. I think it's real funny how the Bulls supposedly can't do anything important because they are over the cap, yet all these capped out teams (Celtics, Mavericks, Lakers, Heat) keep finding ways to get players. The Lakers might just have been butchered by the League though, they had to give up Odom for nothing now cause they pissed him off som much with the Paul trade.

  • In reply to ixonflex69:

    I forgot about the knicks.... yes.

  • The big thing is not the money, but the years of contract. They need to make a big move to get over the top, not little steps like Hamilton or Richardson. They are leaving themselfs open for a big score, the only way they can play it. Going over the cap will only matter if its a big score, why bother on small upgrades. They know either player doesnt take them over the top. These replys arguing over not spending enough money are mute, it just doesnt matter.

  • In reply to stinger226:

    It may be mute but after all these years to only end up with Boozer as our big FA signing is very frustrating. Sure the FO may try to get deals done but other teams are actually doing it. If the knicks get crawford and tyson i will be extrememly frustrated. I fear Billups going to Miami as well. Bulls have great depth, which porbably helps them alot in this condensed regular season, but the playoffs are a different animal, we need at least one more stud that can take pressure and attention away from Rose. Why the hell would Dwight be willing to go to NJ but not Chicago, seems upsurd to me. I am tired of hearing we are in the hunt for some of these big names and always coming up short.

  • In reply to stinger226:

    There is no big score when it comes to the Bulls in dealing with free agency, there never has been. As one poster stated, the Bulls are Reinsdorf's cash cow. Every game is sold out, merchandising has always been above average and Reinsdorf has never been able to attract a big name free agent. Some Bulls fans should stop fooling themselves when it comes to the owner of the Bulls. But he comes out with the B.S. statement that he's ready to pay the luxury tax and he cant even attract or trade for a descent shooting guard. This owner in my opinion is full of B.S. and he only cares about his sorry ass White Sox, he needs to sell the team to someone that actually cares about basketball cause it is apparent he doesn't. Every other team in the league has made news signing or close to signing players and hardly any statements have been read about the Bulls until yesterday only because Hamilton was bought out. I wonder what excuse they wouldve had if he hadnt got bought out and didn't sign anyone, Oh!, let me guess... The players that we had targeted were asking for too much which is B.S. as well cause Richardson just signed with the magic for a little bit more than what the Bulls could've had him for after I'm sure he heard that the bulls were going to sign Hamilton. Open your eyes Bulls fans, this owner does not have the fans best interest in mind, he's all about continuing to line his already full pockets and taking care of his precious White Sox with the money that the Bulls revenue brings in.

  • I think we have an outside shot at getting Howard. With Nets getting in trouble with tampering charges, that will leave them out of picture. With Howard leaving, they dont have a good draw in Orlando,so noah will add some flavor to that. You give them Noah, Asik, Brewer, and our #1 pick and Char. future #1 and I think they can get that done. They have no centers on roster except for Howard, so getting 2 young centers with upside could lure the trade for Chicago. being Noah player at Flor. it could seal the deal our way. Now you just have to talk Howard into it.

  • In reply to stinger226:

    Ah, but no actual tampering charges have been filed against New Jersey. They are still heavily in the hunt for Howard. and have been given permission by Orlando to talk with Howard.

  • In reply to stinger226:

    The Bulls have flopped for whatever the reason is on all the big top 10/20 players who were available via trade/FA from last few years(LeBron, Wade, CP3, Melo, Amare, Bosh)...That market is almost dry now except for Howard and that's a very long shot now.
    What are they accumulating assets for(if that's the case?).. They are going for it with the current team.
    That said, from seeing even a 25 year old Howard is not interested to team up with Rose the reigning MVP of the league. So, there is something else going on why none of these players really are not able to make it to Chicago. It's either they still don't think Rose is good enough or Reinsdorf's cheapness has become factual with the players.

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