Will the Bulls pay the luxury tax next season?

Will the Bulls pay the luxury tax next season?

Jerry Reinsdorf said he'd pay the tax for a winner. The penalty for paying the tax has changed considerably since he made that statement, and this team wasn't a winner this season.

There are a few new reasons why the Bulls may suddenly get squeamish about paying the luxury tax beyond their history of never having actually paid it (not once) despite a repeated mantra of being willing to pay it for a winner.

There are new basketball reasons to avoid the tax. Teams over the tax apron (4 million over the tax limit) can no longer do sign and trades or use the MLE and have tighter salary matching rules in which to operate. Effectively, it becomes much more difficult to add additional salary once over the tax outside of extending your own players.

Even that becomes a tiny bit more difficult with the Gilbert Arenas exception not covering teams over the tax apron because those teams can't match a first year salary at the MLE.

There's also a new revenue sharing number based on team revenues where every team puts in a percentage of its revenue into the pot and then each team pulls out the league average. You can read more about the plan here. The Bulls are obviously going to be hit considerably by the revenue sharing system and will drop profits considerably because of it. There is protection in the plan, so that they can't lose more than half their profit to revenue sharing, but that's likely not a whole lot of protection from their perspective if their profits are cut in half.

Revenue sharing is great for the league, but let's be honest, it's terrible for the Chicago Bulls and is designed so a team like the Bulls cannot outspend other teams. Something which they haven't done historically anyway, but fans expected them to do so for the first time over the next few seasons. If they do, they will no longer be sacrificing the deep end of their swimming pool of cash, but could sacrifice the whole pool. The new plan doesn't fully phase in until the 2013-14 season, and I haven't found details on the specifics of the impact next season.

In addition to the Bulls losing money to revenue sharing and player acquisition limits due to the tax, the tax has simply become much more punitive. This will be the last season the tax is a dollar per dollar for teams that are over, but that doesn't give the Bulls much of a free pass, because if they pay the tax in three of the next four years they'll get hit by a repeat offender penalty.

A team that's 15 million over the tax for example would owe 28.75 million if they weren't a repeat offender and 43.75 million if they were compared to 15 million in the current system. Even if the Bulls were to stay five million into the tax (the lowest level) for the next four years, they would owe 12.5 million in tax in the final year for being a repeat offender and 7.5 million in the other years.

That means for that MLE type player (your Kyle Korver or Ronnie Brewer), you're effectively paying him 12.5-17.5 million depending if you are a repeat offender [5 million to his salary + 7.5 to 12.5 million in tax]. The price goes up to 13.75 to 18.75 for the second extra MLE guy you add, and then jumps to an absurdly high 17.5 to 22.5 million for the third guy. In short, the Bulls aren't likely to pay that much for those guys.

If the Bulls were scared of the dollar per dollar tax without revenue sharing, how do you think they feel about becoming repeat tax offenders now? I'd say that there's no way in hell they let that happen, and that the Bulls will live only in the first tax threshold and only so much that they never achieve repeat offender status. What that means for Chicago is that while some tax may still be paid, the Bulls aren't going to dig deep or often into it. The cost to dig deep went up by a factor of three to four while the teams revenues are about to get rocked by revenue sharing.

Finally, with the Bulls abbreviated playoff run and a lockout shortened season this year likely cut profits to 50% or less of what they were last season. The numbers for the 2010-11 campaign aren't out by Forbes yet (the 2011 article use 2009-10 numbers for operating income/revenue), but my estimate is the Bulls made about 70-75 million with the ECF playoff run.

With eight less regular season home games, three less preseason games (season ticket holders are forced to buy em), and six to ten less ultra high revenue playoff games than expected combined with some post lockout fan apathy, Chicago's profits likely fell to around 35 million this season.

Throw all of these things together, and I feel a bit more sympathy towards Chicago ownership for not paying the tax if they choose to avoid it. Jerry Reinsdorf still has fiduciary responsibility to the owners of the Bulls (he doesn't own them outright even if we pretend he does for ease of use in writing), and the Bulls are already going to lose a ton of profit under this new system. The benefits of paying the tax to enhance your odds of winning and making even more money no longer apply. The benefit is simply too small for any rationale that paying the tax would increase long term profits by bringing titles to Chicago because the incremental odds of winning through spending are so much lower now.

When you combine all these changes with the new Derrick Rose rule which enhanced Rose's salary by an additional three to four million per season, the Bulls franchise got absolutely rocked by this new CBA for the third time in a row [new FA rules allowing home teams to offer more an a max salary likely stopped the Bulls from landing Duncan in 99, the one and done rule stopped them from landing durant in 2005, and the new tax rules strangle their flexibility in 2011]. New team has had the new CBA directly destroy their interests more often than Chicago.

In short, under the previous CBA, paying the tax was likely a good business decision for Chicago. Under this CBA its not. I would suspect Bulls ownership would give up some profit for a title, but with the ante being upped so much its much harder to justify. The Bulls won't pay the tax next year. At least that's my prediction. Forget about signing big name guys or bringing in an eight figure salary. Forget about trading Korver/Brewer/Watson for a big name player. The Bulls will be shedding salary this season and their 10 deep roster will look more like a seven deep one with some ring chasers next year.

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  • I agree, but that doesn't mean i have to like it.

    So with all that said i think we can rule out a 7th title next season (barring some out of nowhere superstar trade).

    And the 14/14 season doesn't exactly look that great either. Its amazing how quickly a team can drop out of the contender group in the NBA. Which is why whenever you have a team that has a legitimate chance to win it all you go all in.

  • * I meant to write 13/14 season.

  • the bulls are not getting any ring chasers, they never have... those guys always go to miami or the lakers, maybe OKC

  • Who will be on the roster next year?

  • All the more reason to trade Deng and Boozer this year while their value is maxed. Load up on draft picks and get young guys to run with Rose and take some of the burden off of him. He's not going to be back at full strength for at least a year if not 18 months. Bring Mirotic over and get him acclimated to the NBA. See if Jimmy Butler is more than a late first round journeyman. Bring in some spares.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Mirotic won't come over till the 14-15 season. As he has a massive buyout that the bulls aren't allowed to help with and would be forced to pay him less than he is making now. So from his point it would be stupid to come over sooner than 2014-15 season.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Not sure how Deng and boozer have maximized their values this year, just check out their underwhelming performances in the Philly series.

    13-14 ppg each with Rose gone, not exactly money, or money ball.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    Doubt you could trade Boozer for expirings, and I doubt you could get much of value for Deng, and particularly nothing of value which saves you money.

  • The bulls remind me of boy scouts; Very upstanding citizens, examples for the community, etc., etc. That being said, I don't think that is going to cut it. The current bulls organization doesn't seem to have that 'right amount of dark-side' that champions in the NBA tend to exude. If one were to examine the bulls teams since the end of the Jordan era, I think you would find this dynamic every year.
    That philosophy may fill the stands with money spending yuppies, but its not going to dominate the NBA playoffs.

  • In reply to 4zen:

    Boy scouts go on to be president more times than criminals.

    The players who have the best work ethic and team sacrifice are also the ones who are most likely to get it done at the end of the day.

    It's not the only thing that matter, but even the guys who had bad boy reps who won titles were usually terrific teammates.

  • Thanks Doug way to brighten the morning! Bulls had little shot next year anyway seeing as how they are 100% dependent on D Rose and he probably is not going to be 100% next year. Well we got to experience being contenders for a few months only to see it was a mirage that may not appear again for a while.

  • Sam Smith talks about this exact topic in his column today. Also talks of the chance of each player to return. I found it odd that he gave Asik an 80% chance to return next season. I don't think Omer will be back, imo.

  • In reply to ManOnNeptune:

    I disagree with many of his odds, particularly about CJ Watson whom I feel is very likely to be back.

  • "Revenue sharing is great for the league, but let's be honest, it's terrible for the Chicago Bulls and is designed so a team like the Bulls cannot outspend other teams."

    I don't think it's good for one of the league's best markets to suddenly fall flat on it's feet in hopes of a title after producing the league's youngest MVP in history. I still think the NBA is too big. Charlotte, Sacramento, Toronto, New Orleans etc... It's sad from a fans perspective, but this league is oversaturated with bottom feeders. I find it hard to believe that increased revenue sharing will solve any of this. Kind of petty if you ask me. Since the 80's we've had Houston and San Antonio as the smallest franchises to win a championship. Great. You know what? Sometimes it's important to admit that bad franchises are bad franchises because they suck from the top down.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    Let it be known that I'm hoping the Thunder go all the way. It would be great for Oklahoma City. I have a ton of admiration for Durant and Westbrook. How often have we heard the NBA is just a bunch of thugs making millions? I have nothing but respect for those two, and they happen to be amazing at basketball. They also happen to be one--if not the only--of the remaining teams that can beat the Heat.

  • In reply to Jmax:

    It's really the NFL vs MLB style.

    NFL: Any given year, any team can compete and win.

    MLB: A small market team might put all the pieces together to compete for a year or two, but the big markets will always be competitive because they have such a huge advantage.

    The NBA is following the NFL model, and I think that makes for a better league IMO.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It appears the MLB has had revenue sharing since 2002.

    "MLB has a fairly robust revenue-sharing system, which has been in place since 2002. In the current version, all teams pay 31 percent of their local revenue into a shared fund, which is divided equally among all teams. In addition, more of the money coming into the league from national sources - network TV contracts and such - goes to lower-revenue clubs."

    http://basketball.about.com/od/nba-vs-nbapa/ss/Revenue-Sharing-And-North-Americas-Major-Pro-Sports-Leagues_3.htm

    Small Market World Series Champions Since 1980:

    Baltimore
    Kansas City
    Minnesota x2
    Oakland
    Cincinnati
    Toronto x2
    Florida Marlins x2
    Arizona

    Smaller Markets In Bigger Cities:

    New York Mets
    Anaheim Angels (can be argued either way)
    Chicago White Sox

    I thought this was a fair argument:

    http://basketball.about.com/b/2011/06/28/why-nfl-style-revenue-sharing-wont-work-in-the-nba.htm

    Also, It seems we're talking about a matter of percentages of revenue shared:

    MLB-31%
    NBA-50%
    NFL-75%

    "Big Brother NFL is at it again with revenue sharing. Football teams split about 75% of all league revenue, which is the main reason teams like the Green Bay Packers are able to compete with large-market revenue-generating monsters like the Jets, Giants, Cowboys, Redskins and Patriots."

    http://basketball.about.com/b/2011/06/28/why-nfl-style-revenue-sharing-wont-work-in-the-nba.htm

    AND

    We're also talking about the source of the money. Mark Cuban makes note that, "[The new revenue-sharing plan] certainly helps level the playing field. The question is whether it is enough to overcome the growing disparity in media rights fees."

    The NFL redistributes 4 BILLION from broadcast deals:

    "The bulk of the league's revenue - approximately $4 billion in 2011 - comes from broadcast deals with NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and DirecTV. That income is shared equally among all teams. Income from licensing deals - everything from jerseys to posters to team-logo beer coolers - is also shared evenly."

    http://basketball.about.com/od/nba-vs-nbapa/ss/Revenue-Sharing-And-North-Americas-Major-Pro-Sports-Leagues_2.htm

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It appears the MLB has had revenue sharing since 2002.

    "MLB has a fairly robust revenue-sharing system, which has been in place since 2002. In the current version, all teams pay 31 percent of their local revenue into a shared fund, which is divided equally among all teams. In addition, more of the money coming into the league from national sources - network TV contracts and such - goes to lower-revenue clubs."

    Small Market World Series Champions Since 1980:

    Baltimore
    Kansas City
    Minnesota x2
    Oakland
    Cincinnati
    Toronto x2
    Florida Marlins x2
    Arizona

    Smaller Markets In Bigger Cities:

    New York Mets
    Anaheim Angels (can be argued either way)
    Chicago White Sox

    Also, It seems we're talking about a matter of percentages of revenue shared:

    MLB-31%
    NBA-50%
    NFL-75%

    "Big Brother NFL is at it again with revenue sharing. Football teams split about 75% of all league revenue, which is the main reason teams like the Green Bay Packers are able to compete with large-market revenue-generating monsters like the Jets, Giants, Cowboys, Redskins and Patriots."

    AND

    We're also talking about the source of the money. Mark Cuban makes note that, "[The new revenue-sharing plan] certainly helps level the playing field. The question is whether it is enough to overcome the growing disparity in media rights fees."

    The NFL redistributes 4 BILLION from broadcast deals:

    "The bulk of the league's revenue - approximately $4 billion in 2011 - comes from broadcast deals with NBC, CBS, Fox, ESPN and DirecTV. That income is shared equally among all teams. Income from licensing deals - everything from jerseys to posters to team-logo beer coolers - is also shared evenly."

  • In reply to Jmax:

    If you look at the spending disparity in MLB though, small market teams can't stay consistently competitive. They can only catch lightning in a bottle and then rebuild.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    As a fan of a big city, big market NBA team, I'd much prefer the MLB version. While the Yankees make the playoffs every year, they are the only ones, and they have to spend twice as much as everybody to do so. And they don't win the World Series as often as you'd think.

    I'd much rather have a team be able to stay together for while than be torn apart by restrictive cap, NFL style. We are already talking about possibly losing Gibson and/or Asik and the bulls haven't even gotten to the finals yet. How is OKC going to keep both Harden and Ibaka and how is it good for the league to break that team up just because they drafted well?

  • I never imagined I could feel more depressed after watching Derrick go down in the first game of the playoffs, & knowing that it will be another full year until the Bulls play in a meaningful game... yet here I am feeling worse than ever. All your points make sense, but it's a cold hard painful truth.

  • The league has been trying to get a hard cap for as long as there has been free agency. The players have been willing to fight to the death to avoid one.

    It seems to me that the league has finally found a way to accomplish it's goal without actually having to call it a hard cap.

    By 2013-14 when the all the terms of the new CBA will be in affect, the defacto hard cap will be a soft cap of between $70-75 million or whatever the tax demarcation line is plus the first tier of the luxury tax.

    The vast majority of teams will stay below the tax and those that exceed it will only venture into the first tier for a season or 2.

    There might be the occasional team that goes beyond that for a season or 2. But even the big spenders like NY, LA, Dallas, Miami will eventually lose the ability to add salary to their rosters.

    By the time that the biggest contracts(Kobe Bryant may be the last of those) signed before the new CBA expire, it will become virtually impossible to put together a roster that costs more than $75-80 million even if ownership is willing to spend the money.

    The new deal gives owners like Reinsdorf cover for doing what they were inclined to do anyway. At least it puts the free spenders out of business, which does even the playing field on the court if not necessarily in the accounting department.

    The Rose injury gives the Bulls cover/reasons to not exceed the tax threshold for next season. Which means that everybody not under contract for next season goes, or boozer gets amnestitized. It is pretty much one or the other, all or nothing.

    The only exception would be retaining Asik, while keeping boozer for one more year and going into the first tier of the tax, and/or trading Hamilton to a team under the cap for a draft pick to avoid the tax.

    I believe that the Bulls long term plan is to retain both Asik, this summer and Gibson next summer and bringing in Mirotic the summer after that when Deng's current contract will expire.

    With that in mind, as Doug spelled out in his podcast yesterday, the multifaceted ramifications of the new CBA make for a very strong case to amenstitize boozer this summer rather than waiting until the following summer, when it is a virtual certainty.

    That has to give most Bulls fans at least a small jolt of optimism.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I agree with pretty much everything you said there. We'll see what happens with Boozer. I think there's a very strong case to amnesty him immediately.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I think the Knicks will be an interesting case: between Melo, Amare & Chandler they're already pretty much at the cap, so unless they trade someone (and I don't think anyone is taking Amare, so it has to be one of the other two) they'll be big tax payers.

    But Dolan makes money indirectly from the Knicks through Cablevision & MSG, so it's possible that spending big for a winner is profitable to him even with the new tax.

    If even the Knicks stop spending over the tax then the new CBA really has changed the landscape.

    I think you're right for the other 29 teams though, nobody is going to want to be in the tax for an extended period, it'll be something teams maybe go into a little bit for a year or two when they're trying to make a run.

    Very interesting times, not just for how the Bulls manage to move their pieces to hopefully keep Asik & Gibson, but what the other contenders do. I wouldn't be surprised to see Miami moving Bosh soon given their salary situation.

  • For those of you interested in such matters, I highly recommend the link that Doug provided for an explanation of the new revenue sharing agreement by the owners, which is not part of the CBA.

    If you missed it above, here it is.

    http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2012/01/23/Leagues-and-Governing-Bodies/NBA-revenue.aspx

    At first glance it appears quite progressive if not egalitarian.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Indeed... it's wealth redistribution

  • The likelihood of the Bulls amnestying Boozer this year is the same as paying the luxury tax - not a chance in hell.

    When you look at all the mega profits Reinsdorf and the Bulls were making during the 2000's, and yet they could never bring in just one big name offensive scorer for fans to enjoy. I'm sure all the enablers slash experts here will justify why they shouldn't or couldn't do that.

    If the Bulls had done right by fans you wouldn't have a rationale for all the vitriol from guys like Doug and fans for being so cheap. That's all it would have taken to pay back fans somewhat for their loyalty, just don't take their money and make them watch absolute garbage.

    As I've said Gar/pax have been bullied by Jerry both in player signings and coaching hires. They are both beholden to Reinsdorf in a way that a guy like Krause, like him or not, would never have been. His autonomy was based on making his own way in the world as a scout and adept appraiser of talent with legendary names all the way down the line from Unseld to Oakley, Grant, Pippen etc. And being able to successfully make winning trades like Rodman and Longley. Not by being a company brown noser or grandfathered in as a former player.

    As long as Gar/Pax are the execs making the decisions I'm not counting on any dynamic trades or restructuring being done simply because Jerry will meddle and therefore muddle the process. They will draft mostly character guys, and usually not miss with duds so that is to their credit.

    Miami without Wade tanked and missed with Mrs. Beasley. Bulls develop Butler and this year's pick plus Taj, Jo, and Omer work on inside games and offense we need. Then at season's end you get a high lottery pick, and if you get a potent scorer or beyond as in star then Rose comes back to that fully healthy next season.

    Boozer plays one more year, and then amnsety him this summer for $32 MIl. Jettison whatever else you can to get down to where you can sign two marquee free agents. Of course some of the other big contracts will have to go simply for expirings and picks. That means Noah or Deng. Is it a risk? Sure, but the least you should be able to get is insurance draft picks, and one way or another at least you're trying and not "stuck."

    All the we can't do this and we can't do that.. Miami, L.A., Dallas will always find creative ways to bring in offensive studs sooner or later. The Bulls could retool for next year in a big way, but with Gar/Pax and Big Dad Jerry I would put the odds at 15:1 that they will make anything dynamic happen. In other words brought to you by the guys who picked up Boozer and Rip because they "had no choice." What a joke. Reinsdorf is loving the gullability of Chicago fans as he has for the last decade all the way to the bank.

    Rose likely comes back strong, but to a weak team. With which he will be married for a long time.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    By the way while we all our venting our cynacism due to past experience and the Rose tragedy it doesn't mean we can't get it out of our systems, and then hope for a surpise. K.C says a "big move" could be made at this year's draft including a "core" player so who knows. Maybe they will pull off a stunner..?(he, he). No seriously it's possible.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I'm sure they'll try but every team in the league is more salary adverse than ever now with the new CBA. Moving a core guy and getting something good in return while also maintaining or improving the Bulls position re the luxury tax will be very hard.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Your are right, with the draconian effects of the CBA kicking in next year, I don't see anybody taking on big long term money this year making trades more difficult than ever.

    Although, I could see Miami moving Bosh, while somehow getting good value and making their team better at either pg or center or both.

    Would they do Asik and Boozer for Bosh, would we.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    I think it is a combination of ineptitude, timing and cheapness. They have spent big and have been near the top in payroll its just they spend on the wrong players... Hello Ben Wallace, Carlos Boozer and Jalen Rose not exactly the big free agent signings you would expect from a major market team... Thank God they let Gordon walk and were able to get out of Tyson's deal.

  • In reply to RoadWarrior:

    Actually, if they don't amensty boozer(you say no chance in hell) then it will be very difficult for them to avoid being a tax payer, in fact the only way to do so is to let everybody(including Asik) go, and replacing them with minimum salaries and rookies.

    and if they do amnesty boozer, then they can easily avoid paying the tax even while retaining Asik and signing other non minimum salaries.

    So, in this particular case the odds of those 2 events are directly linked and virtually completely opposite of each other, one will be zero and the other nearly 100%.

  • listened to kc and he's basically saying the bulls could be shopping Joakim Noah. That would make sense because the Bulls would not throw that kind of money at Asik unless they thought he could eventually start for them and at a cheaper price. I'm guessing they could be targeting Joe Johnson who Reinsdorf loves, his agent-buddy friend represents him or another of his buddy's players is Pau Gasol. I would think the Bulls could also be aggressive trying to trade Boozer so fans get off their backs about the amnesty which they have no intention of using. I like Joe Johnson if thats the guy they are targeting but his contract is absolutely horrible....They might want to go for cheaper options like Kevin Martin,etc. But I do agree, they need perimeter help for Rose. If they trade Noah for a perimter stud, they have to keep Gibson next year or else our front line is not going to be formidable like it once was.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    In this new CBA, Joe Johnson has the worst contract in the league. There's no way the Bulls are shopping for him IMO.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    It might not be him but if you look at the last two years, it was our offense that got us eliminated. Trading Noah for an all star shooting guard makes alot of sense. Imagine we have Joe Johnson instead of Joakim Noah in the philly series, there's no way we're losing that round. Joe Johnson is also a good defender like Deng and he can create his own shot. Atlanta needs a center, it just makes alot of sense for both teams. If Reinsdorf is willing to pay the luxury tax if he gets joe johnson or another all star wing, then that contract can be tolerated. I hate seeing Rose being run down and nicked up because no one else on this team can create or score effectively. The Bulls need to shake things up and trade away a little from the frontline and strengthen the perimeter. Imagine a lineup of Rose, Johnson, Deng, Boozer/Gibson and Asik. That would give Miami a run for its money.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    Trading Noah for Johnson is nuts, even if the contracts were reversed it would still be a bad deal for the Bulls.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    You are right that Atlanta needs a true center, so that they can move Horford to his natural PF position. Additionally, they are a team actively looking to remake themselves, with Josh Smith likely being moved.

    As a result we should be talking to Atlanta, but we should be after Horford or Smith.

    Personally, Horford would be my ideal choice at PF next to Noah.

    I would reluctantly be willing to give up Asik(only with Boozer included) to get Horford, but I highly doubt that Atlanta has any interest in moving Horford even if we offered Noah.

    Could we get Smith for Boozer or Asik or both, would you want him?

    How about Noah and Boozer for Horford and Smith.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I am a huge smitty fan but why target a relatively young PF in Horford when you are planning on bringing in Mirotic after two years?

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It seems the Bulls are targeting some shooting guard, dangling Deng or Noah in trade talks. Could it be Eric Gordon? I don't know but I do see them trying to fix the second ball handler and scorer on the team. My guess is that it will be Noah who will be the trade bait. The Hornets want to win now so I could see them entertain talks for Noah or Deng to lead their young players.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Yeah, Joe Johnson is in the exact situation Boozer is in: it's not a matter of IF but WHEN he gets the amnesty used on him. If Atlanta can find a big enough sucker to take on his contract (which then couldn't be cut with the amnesty) I'll be shocked.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    I actually disagree.

    JJ is not doing anything he hasn't been doing for the past several years. Yes, his production has dipped slightly, but he's still putting up 18ts-4rbs-4asts. I totally expect him to put up those similar 18pts-4rbs-4asts for the next 2 years.

    But with that said, in the final years years of his contract, THAT'S when his contract becomes the worst contract in the league. Right now, he's playing close to what he's getting paid.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    There is one and only one trade that could be made for Johnson, to the Knicks for Amare.

    Basically the worst contract in league for the second worst, with the Knicks the only team in the league that could afford to take on Johnson's contract.

    If the Knicks feel that Anthony and Amare simply can't play together, and that having their second scorer at 2 guard is far better than at power forward they might be willing to take on Johnson's extra year and extra money.

    Even for the Knicks the additional tax and roster ramifications of Johnson's contract might be too much. They might just be better off amestitizing Amare, as might Atlanta with Johnson.

    Both the Knicks and Hawks are in the same boat as we are with Boozer, it is a question of when, not if to use the amnesty provision.

    Should/Would the Bulls be interested in an amnestitized Johnson at MLE money?

    Personally, he looks done to me, and I wouldn't even consider him on anything more than a one year contract.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Knicks used their amnesty on Billups to sign Chandler, they're stuck with Amare.

  • In reply to Shakes:

    Forgot about that, but that actually increases the chance that they would trade Amare for Johnson. The Knicks take on the worse contract, Atlanta loses the ability to amnesty Johnsonbut could still use it on somebody else.

  • The result of this season is the PERFECT excuse for Reinsdorf to not pay into the luxury tax next year.

    You're right about his 'mantra' of him willing to pay into the luxury tax if the Bulls are title contenders. The Bulls WERE title contenders this year, yet, he didn't add anybody of significance...only Rip Hamilton at $5mil. Forget what you feel about Jamal Crawford, the Bulls didn't make a trade for him because they feared he wanted to much.

    So now with the injuries of Rose and Luol next year, they will be going into next season saying 'we're not title contenders'...so we're not going to pay into the tax.

    Truthfully, I never expected Reinsdorf to do so. I honestly felt even IF we would have won the title, Reinsdorf was not going to pick up the final years of Brewer, Korver, and Watson, so now that we're not title contenders, I don't expect any of those guys to be retained.

    I fully expect Brewer to be gone and replaced with Jimmy Butler's rookie contract. I expect Korver to be replaced by some vet-min 3-point shooter like Jason Kapono, and I think Watson will be cut, but I think they make a run at Kirk Hinrich because they like Hinrich.

    The Bulls won't even do the smart basketball GM move and package Brewer, Korver, and Watson's unguaranteed contracts and trade for a player. They will just cut them (without having to pay them) and replacing it with cheaper options.

  • i think the bulls should try to aquire 1 or 2 2nd round picks, the draft seems to be deep this year. the bulls need to get younger and talented, look at all the teams competeing in the playoffs:
    sixers
    indiana
    l.a. clippers
    thunder
    denver
    memphis

    all teams with good young talent. there's some good talent that is projected to be available in the 2nd round of the draft:

    john jenkins 6'4" sg vanderbilt
    doron lamb 6'4" sg kentucky
    darius miller 6'7" sf kentucky
    will barton 6'6" sf memphis
    jae crowder 6'6" 235lbs sf/pf marquette(my favorite)
    darius johnson-odom 6'2" sg marquette
    tu holloway 6'0" pg xavier(pure pg who can run any offense)
    hollis thompson 6'8" sf georgetown
    marcus denmon 6'3" sg missouri

    there's more i could mention. maybe the bulls can start rebuilding the bench with some of these young guys, what would it cost to aquire a 2nd round pick? i would love a line up like this:

    pg: rose/league minimum f.a.(hinrich?)/holloway
    sg: rip/butler/johnson-odom
    sf: deng/crowder or hollis thompson who can shoot the three
    pf: boozer/resign gibson
    c: noah/resign asik

    yeah it ain't a good idea to replace role players like watson, korver and brewer with rookies but with rose and deng looking like they will miss significant time next year, the season looks lost to me because this team imo won't compete for a championship. they maybe able to make a run in the playoffs if rose and deng come back 100 percent and in top form for the playoffs but thats too many if's. i'd rather be realistic and start to bring in young talent to team up with the rose, deng, noah core.

  • I understand it's financially wasteful to amnesty Boozer, especially in a year we might not be seriously competing, but we've GOT to develop Taj. Can we at least convince Boozer to try for Sixth Man of the Year? Taj has consistently played better when he's been starting, or so it's seemed to me, especially his jumper. And he's been developing some nifty post moves and attitude!

  • Off topic, but seeing how Boston is struggling with Philly and now the Heat having Bosh as an injury concern, I'm sure Watson is feeling a lot worse about that last play. Ok, so the Heat still probably beat us with 2 superstars, but it makes you think.

  • There are a lot of mixed messages coming from the Bulls. KC says they will not amnesty Boozer but will match offers for Asik? It's very unlikely they'll be able to do that and stay under the tax, and if they do Watson will have to be replaced by someone making the minimum. That would be bad. If the Bulls are set on keeping Asik and staying under the tax then I think Boozer has to go, either via amnesty or trade for less punitive contracts.

    Personally I would keep Boozer, Asik and Watson and go a couple of million into the tax. We need those guys to help us get back to the playoffs - Rose should be healthy by the spring which might give us an outside shot at a title. Boozer can then be amnestied to avoid the tax the following year.

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