The Charlotte Bobcats acquired Ben Gordon and a future first round pick [2013 lotto protected, top 8 in 2014, top 1 in 2015, unprotected 2016] for Corey Maggette [expiring deal of a crappy player]. The move was a salary relief one for Detroit who took on a worse player while giving up a potentially very valuable pick to save some money. The Bulls could have gotten in on this, and if they don't move their non-guaranteed contracts for draft picks later it will prove out that Chicago is in it for the money.
Make no mistake, the Bulls could have trivially trumped this deal. Rip Hamilton + their choice of Korver or Brewer to match salaries. They waive Korver/Brewer and buy out Hamilton again and likely save around five or six million over what they do with the deal they just completed with Charlotte. If they sent Kover/Brewer instead of Hamilton, it would have saved Detroit 11 million more.
Meanwhile, the Bulls grab another pick which will most likely come in as a top 10 pick in 2015 to add to their hopes to add cheap, lottery talent around Derrick Rose in the future while addressing one of their primary needs right now [someone who can create their own shot and score while Rose is out].
Say what you want about Gordon, but he's much better than Hamilton and some dude we're going to waive anyway and while improving the team considerably we also get a likely future lotto pick for our troubles. Seems like a great deal until you start looking at the finances.
The Bulls would probably end up around seven million [and closer to 12 million in the scenario where they don't move Hamilton] in the luxury tax this year after such a trade. Now of course, we're willing to pay the tax to win a championship, but apparently we aren't willing to pay the tax to get lottery picks and improve the team considerably this season.
Paying the tax for a championship is great, but it's also a cop out, because doing so doesn't actually cost the franchise any money. They would make back more money than the tax they pay.
Now everything written prior to this can be disproven. There will be plenty of other opportunities to take on salary to get draft picks. If the Bulls take advantage of some of those, then we'll have shown that they just valued a different opportunity more than this one.
However, if the Bulls, as I expect, simply let their non guaranteed contracts go then it will show that they aren't interested in maximizing the odds of winning a title if it cuts into their MASSIVE profit margins. By the way, my season tickets cost almost 20% more next season.
Let's see if they actually invest any of that money in the team. My guess is no.