Bulls falling behind in the arms race, Ray Allen signs with Miami

The Chicago Bulls may or may not be thinking big. They may be biding their time, or they may be working hard behind the scenes on something big we haven't seen yet. They have limited flexibility, but if they're willing to spend they can still make things happen.

Chicago could get involved in a S&T for a player using Korver (non guaranteed) and then guaranteeing Brewer/Watson and moving them in a trade. It'd add a ton of salary, but they could get things done if they did so. So far, we haven't seen any hints of the Bulls engaging in S&T discussions.

All reports are that the Bulls are working the low end of free agents with the latest rumors being that they've contacted Gerald Green and Michael Redd. Two guys who might make quality veteran minimum signings for Chicago, but aren't exactly going to help keep up with superstar laden teams that added Nash and Allen.

No rumors yet about Jerryd Bayless or Lou Williams whom both will be leaving their teams and make good fits for Chicago with their ability to create offense. Both players might require the full MLE though, which would involve the Bulls not bringing back Asik and getting hard capped later. However, Chicago could get creative to make something happen.

The Bulls might be able to work a S&T with either player using Korver's non guaranteed contract, then the team could waive Korver and would get their cap room back. However, if the 76ers/Raptors are right on the cap limit then Korver's small buy out might make this impossible [also possible Korver's guarantee date is too early, shamsports doesn't list it].

Such a move would also need to happen prior to their other signings, and as such, would need to be agreed to prior to FA officially starting, because once those teams use their cap room it becomes an impossibility.

What's somewhat disappointing about the Heat getting Ray Allen is that it appeared the Bulls didn't even try. Dwyane Wade and LeBron James heavily recruited Allen to the Heat. Derrick Rose doesn't seem willing to step up and do the same thing. It's easy to respect Rose's stance on recruiting, but it certainly isn't helping the Bulls attract talent.

However, it's also pretty easy to imagine that if Allen was offered the same contract by Chicago and Miami that he was going to the Heat regardless of Rose's recruiting or anything else. Miami just won the title, will be the favorite again, and the Bulls likely are down on the list with Rose scheduled to miss much of the season.

The Bulls have flexibility right now, but once lost, it's gone for quite some time. Chicago has expiring deals of Brewer/Watson (or non guaranteed if they waive them, but they would need to guarantee prior to a trade), the non guaranteed contract of Korver, and the near expiring in Rip Hamilton. They can combine those salaries to match some pretty large trade possibilities.

Next season, three of those guys will be gone and Chicago will only have Hamilton's contract left. Hamilton's contract is guaranteed for only one million next season, but his guarantee date is prior to the moratorium ending, so he can't be traded as a non guaranteed during free agency next summer [though could during the draft] to match salaries in a sign and trade and would need to be guaranteed first which offers only minimal flexibility.

Overall, if the Bulls don't get something done this year, their odds of getting something done next year become much smaller as the flexibility is much smaller. That leaves Chicago basically treading water for two seasons and looking to make a move in the summer of 2014 when Deng will be off the books, Mirotic may come over, and Boozer will be in the final year of his deal and could be amnestied to free up cap room or dealt as an expiring.

The problem with this is that if the Bulls wanted to go for it in 2014, then they should have moved Deng now for a high lotto pick [which was clearly on the table], and the facilitated a true retooling focused around cheap talent to maximize their cap flexibility in 2014 as well as build up a group of players that would be entering their prime then.

Instead of having Harrison Barnes on a cheap contract that year, they'll have to choose between using their cap room just to bring back Deng or to add some other FA to the team meaning overall improvement will become difficult.

I've said it before, unless Chicago has complete financial freedom, they're in a tough spot. Despite comments to the contrary about the Bulls not making financial decisions, their actions certainly show otherwise. Without that financial flexibility, the Bulls can do very little this off-season, next off-season, and perhaps ever. They need to ramp up to the 85 million dollar style pay roll in order to legitimately compete for the title. I don't think it will happen.

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  • Bayless or Gerald Green would be much better adds than Ray Allen, IMO. Allen is broken-down and would too high a risk when you already have Rip Hamilton on this team. Plus he's only make sense for a year, maybe, and Rose is not ready to go this year ... so it'd be doubly foolish.

    Instead, get a player who can legitimately hit the 3 and play full-court ball for the next 3 years, and both Bayless and Green can do that.

  • In reply to Curious E:

    Ray WAS broken down last year...but he tried to play through it.

    He's already had surgery, an offseason of rehab, and he'll be back to form...most likely killing BOS and CHI in the process.

    Because before when you couldn't count on Mike Miller (until the final game) and Shane Battier (until the 2nd Round of the playoffs)...EVERYTIME Ray puts up the ball, you think it's going in.

    Green and Bayless would definitely help (and I hope the Bulls get them), but they wouldn't have been better than Ray.

    Plus, they would be asked to do different things.

    1) Bayless would be the starting PG, driving and creating open looks.

    2) Green, more of a slasher and open floor player would bring the athleticism the Bulls are lacking.

  • In reply to Curious E:

    Gerald Green played well for 31 games in his career last season on a complete crap team that no one took seriously. He's been putrid prior to that point.

    To think he can expected to legitimately shoot the three for the next seasons is an awfully big stretch. Bayless shot the ball well from the three point line well for the first time in his career last season as well.

    Both guys are also not likely guys who can do more than hit open threes, not guys who truly space the floor.

  • And Ray Allen was offered twice as much to stay in Boston. He clearly wants to retire in Miami and would not be considering Chicago now. Can't fault an old man there.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    Probably so, but it wasn't because he wanted to retire there...

    http://sports.yahoo.com/news/nba--heat-gave-ray-allen-reason-to-again-feel-wanted.html

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    That article makes the case that Allen was unhappy and resentful towards Boston, but nothing indicates he would prefer to come to Chicago. Not many desirable free agents are giving this city a sniff these days.

  • If the Heat get Allen and Camby- do you see a scenario where the Bulls just say "screw it" we aren't winning this year and there's no way we are paying the tax? With our lack of moves, I just wonder if we're going to bother...

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    If MIA gets Camby TOO...the Bulls are done paying, and Reinsdorf will be happy selling out every game, pocketing another $50+mil in profit (most in the league)

  • In reply to turdburglar:

    I could see the Bulls saying "screw it we aren't paying the tax" regardless of what anyone does. Let's see them pay the tax once before making any assumptions that they will.

  • You guys are killing me with excuses for this team, Reinsdork is and has been putting this team in a position to lose since the season was officially over when Rose went down. I sense tank job over the next 2 seasons for the Bulls unless Rose start to speak up and say he doesn't want to play for a loser and someone in management steps up and do something. It just amazes me that Miami, New York, and the Lakers, all teams that are close to being capped out or over the cap can still bring in these big name players and the Bulls can't do jack sh-t. Again... Someone needs to be fired in Bulls management!!! INEXCUSABLE!!!! Again some of you guys are crazy with all of the excuses for the Bulls brass. Once again they are putting insane amounts of pressure on Rose to save this team when he returns. He won't be able to do it alone on a repaired ACL. Saving money shouldn't be an excuse if they were really about winning.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Reinsdorf is the owner, GarPax is his 'female dog'. Why would Reinsdorf fire GarPax for doing absolutely what he wants...Nothing, except making him tons and tons of profits?

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/chrissmith/2012/01/25/the-most-and-least-profitable-nba-teams/

    I wish Chicago had another basketball team...I want MJ to move his Bobcats here.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You really think the Bulls are going to tank? Come on now.

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    In reply to DougThonus:

    They absolutely should tank. Remember the 96-97 Spurs? I hope Rose sits out the whole year to recover....

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    They should. I'm all for the "rebuild process". Rose will come back at the end of season. He won't be enough healthy to make Chicago a title contender. Therefore, why rush his comeback ? Let him sit out the whole season and recover fully, trade deng and Noah for draft picks/ stars. Without Noah and Deng, the bulls won't certainely make playoffs. It would allow us to get a high draft pick + others picks from Deng and Noah trades. Moreover, it would give flexibility to sign very good FAs. This way, we would start the 2013/14 season with an healthy Rose, 2 star potential rookies and 1 good free agent.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    @Bullz+dee

    'Should they' and 'Will they' are 2 different opinions.

    A team with Thibs (regular season master), Noah, Deng, and Taj...will not 'settle' for losing on purpose.

    Now if you want to say the Bulls should trade Noah, Deng, and Taj...so they can suck and tank, that's a different option.

    But the Bulls aren't going to do that either, especially now that the draft is over.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    they could do it for the next draft.

  • Looks like the game plan for the Bulls is to match Asik, use the mini midlevel on combo guard Kirk Hinrich and fill the rest of the team with minimum players. So they will pay the luxury tax but not too much. I wonder who they will replace Korver with? The Bulls had a basic formula of defense, rebounding advantage and 3 point shooting. When they did all 3 things well, they usually won. They were horrible at fastbreaks/transition and getting to the freethrow line...lacking athleticism and players that can dribble drive. How do they address the lack of athleticism? how do they maintain the sharp 3 point shooting? This Bulls team can become ugly offensively next year without Korver and the rest of the bench. Can Boozer and Deng, the highly paid Duke tandem both take 20 shots a game and get to the ft line for some easy baskets? This Bulls team needs to generate easy baskets because no jumpshooting team will ever get far with the likes of the Lakers, Miami, New york and others improving.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I initially wanted the Bulls to match Asik's offer, then trade him next season, but after thinking about it, it might be more prudent for the Bulls to NOT match, then offer the full MLE at somebody like Mayo, Lee, or Rush.

    If the Bulls end up not matching Asik and not get anybody better than Hinrich in with that MLE, then I would be disappointed.

    Korver @ $5mil will be replaced by Jason Kapono @ $1

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    I think you're talking too much for nothing. It's simple : The bulls aren't going well because they don't have another shoot creator (a start) besides Rose. Korver isn't the difference maker.

    Yes, our main weapons are defense and rebounding. But when it comes to play Miami, there is no advantage, because Heat defense matchs ours and the heat rebounds almost as well as we do. And they beat us because, their offense is better so far. it's as simple as that. As the bulls will count only on Rose in offense, They will never win the championship.

  • I think the Bulls should go after Jerryd Bayless. I still go back to Kevin Love's comments regarding Bayless on the Bill Simmons podcast last year.

    Simmons was talking about how everybody who came back from the 2010 World Championships in Turkey took a huge leap...Love, Westbrook, Durant, Odom, and obviously the MVP of the league Rose.

    Simmons then asked out of everybody who he came out with (from the AAU circuit...so his age), what player who still hasn't taken that leap, had the potential to get into that same class as they did.

    Kevin Love responded with Jerryd Bayless.

    Bayless's game is more of a penetrator and finisher around the basket. He's a bad jump shooter, but for some reason, is a good 3 point shooter (42 %). He has a quick first step and has the ability go off.

    I think Bayless can replicate Rose's style of play, which would allow the rest of the team to continue playing the way they do. If the Bulls don't match Asik, they will have the full $5mil MLE to offer him (although I don't think the Bulls will need to pay it all), and the Bulls offer him something he won't get from any of the remaining teams who need a PG*...a starting job (until Rose gets back), the greenlight to put up as many shots as needed (Thibs' offense), and to play for a darkhorse championship contender (darkhorse if Rose gets back early and is 100% back to form).

    Then, if Bayless has a huge season, his value spikes up, and the Bulls can trade him for something back.

    (*Teams that need a starting PG: SAC, DAL, HOU, NOH, CHA, CHI)

  • First, the big problem I see concerning Chicago sports is not only the fans but the players, media (newpapers, bloggers, reporters) do not put any pressure on Chicago organizations to justify their actions and provide winners. We just talk behind the scenes and still support these conservative losing organizations. Guess we have an old slave mentality that the Boss knows what they are doing and please take some more of my money and we will HOPE and PRAY that we have a great season. That outlook never happens in NY, Boston, LA , etc because expectations are high to win a championship and not just compete or make the playoffs every year. You hear them on their news/sports channels/radio, in big bold letters across newspapers and their fans demand winners or u get empty stadiums, arenas.
    Secondly, why should they bring in another PG when u got Watson? At this point there is no upgrade in that position and at least Watson knows Thibs system.

  • In reply to jclass62:

    You are absolutely dead on with everything that you said, the media the bloggers, and especially the fans accept the crappy teams that Chicago teams put together to compete every season. With all of the money the chi town sports teams bring in you would think that every team in Chicago would have a winner to compete every season. I mean look at the cubs, bears, and the Bulls, these teams are working on decades of not winning a championship. The cubs shouldn't even have fans with their long history of losing, but what's the old saying for cub fans... Wait til next year, that's an old saying they've been saying for over 100 years now so I guess they're content with it and that's another story. Reinsdorf has been rakeing in money from the Bulls and the sellouts at the UC without a championship for 14 years, all that says is Jordan was the reason for the 6 championships and the Bulls management had very little to do with it Derrick Rose better open his eyes and see what's going on around him cause his owner isn't trying to help him he's just concerned about his White Sox and the fans of the Bulls continueing to fund his baseball teams winning a championship.

  • "Derrick Rose doesn't seem willing to step up and do the same thing. It's easy to respect Rose's stance on recruiting, but it certainly isn't helping the Bulls attract talent"

    I don't respect that, I hate it. Indeed, it is because of his behavior that FA are reluctant to come to Chicago. It's one the reason we didn't Lebron. James said that the fact Rose didn't show any interest about playing with him, was of the main reason he didn't join the bulls. The same could be said about Wade, Carmelo Anthony or Howard. At the end day, Rose will be the one complaining about being ringless. Most of stars feel like Rose doesn't want to be helped.That's why they hesitate to be bulls.

    "The problem with this is that if the Bulls wanted to go for it in 2014, then they should have moved Deng now for a high lotto pick [which was clearly on the table]"

    That's complety right. GarPax, most of times, refuse to deal their players but when it comes to extend their contracts, they let them walk. Especially with Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich, if they planned not to keep them, why didn't they trade them ? Why didn't they draft Brandon Roy is they considered that BG wasn't the solution in the future ? Why didn't they trade Asik while a lot teams were asking for him ?

    In my opinion, we shouldn't only blame the stingy Reinsdorf. GarPax aren't managing this team well. Indeed, in spite of owner restrictions about luxury tax, they should be able to mount a competitive team. Instead, they are inactive and always standing pat each season. Trading per exemple for Melo, Howard, Harrison Barnes, or any 2012 draft pick wouldn't have put them in the tax zone.

    The way I see it, this team won't never win championship with Gar forman and Paxson as managers. The only good thing they have done is hiring Thibodeau since they were lucky to draft Rose.

  • In reply to deewaves:

    Safe doesn't win championships and GarPax are as risk averse as they come. I too don't see them ever building a championship team. Just the fact that they still aren't sure whether to match Asik shows u how much planning they do. This scenario should have easily been anticipated and prepared for but these fools act like they had no idea... Trade him if you don't want to pay him before this point! He is a valuable asset and these fools just likely lost for nothing to show just like they did with BG.

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    Trade idea: Loul Deng, Kyle Korver, Rip Hamilton, rights to Mirotic, future 1st rounder to Memphis for Rudy Gay and s&t OJ Mayo.

  • In reply to Rose1:

    For some odd reason, the Owner (Heisley) didn't want to trade any of their core members (Marc, Zbo, Gay, Conley) and instead is opting to keep them together for another title run.

    Maybe it's because behind the scenes, he was in the process of selling the team. I don't know who has the team, but it looks like they are keeping Gay.

    I mean, there were multiple offers all the way up to CHA's 2nd overall pick...and MEM declined.

    Also throw in Mayo is already an UFA so MEM can't S&T, and Mirotic may or may not come over, I don't think that gets it done. Maybe if they pushed real hard and offered something like Deng+Korver+Teague+2013 1stRounder+CHA Pick ...for... Gay.

    If you think that's too much, then forget about Gay. The point is, when YOU want something, you always have to overpay, you can't go into it thinking you will get a 'bargain'.

  • In reply to Rose1:

    That would require GarPax to pull heads out of each others arses. They don't trade players only draft and over pay or lose for nothing.

  • 1) Deng is a glue guy for the Bulls. He wins them a lot of games. I can see why they did not trade him for a high #1 if they weren't sure what they would get. They can trade him next year or the following if necessary.
    2) They will probably makes the playoffs this coming season even if Rose is out all year. So they're not a total junk team.
    3) The real question is talent evaluation. That includes how much a guy is worth. They probably would have traded Deng for Barnes if they thought Barnes would drop that far. However, if Deng returns to his form of early last season, he will be more valuable in a trade down the road.
    But why not pick up the cheap #2s and get Cunningham, etc? That failure bordered on negligence, especially in this draft. Then the Bulls could have been developing those guys with Rose out, instead of playing Korver/Watson/Lucas, and if one of them hit, it would have been a great pickup.
    It still would. Maybe the FA is planning to do just that in some trades. We'll see.

  • Shouldn't the Bulls be after Camby?

    If they don't match on Asik, offering Camby the mini MLE(but not for the full 3 years) might be the best move that they can make this offseason.

    However, as usual, it doesn't even appear that the Bulls are thinking about Camby, and as usual he does not appear to be interested in the Bulls. As much as we like to delude ourselves, for some reason, we are not a top tier destination for free agents.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Not matching Asik = $5mil MLE available

    MIA only has some $1.4mil Exception (or Vet Min)

    Camby wants multiyear at $3mil per

    My guess is Lewis is signing there for $1.4mil

    Bulls can split the MLE up $3mil to Camby, $2mil to Lewis

    Bulls just stole away MIA's options

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Nope the Bulls aren't a top destination. Something needs to be about the Bulls public relations within the NBA.

  • The Bucks are going after the Bulls top Target Hinrich, that would be hilarious if he signs with them. Just goes to show that the Bulls ex coach knows the Bulls are cheap and definitely has no respect for the Bulls as an organization.

  • Does anyone know why the Bulls and the NBA have prohibited Sam Smith from writing right now? He answered an email from me with

    "bulls and nba have prohibited me from writing for now
    not sure why"

  • In reply to azjeffv:

    Probably because he makes shit up, and then criticizes everybody else on ESPN and other media outlets when they report stuff with 'sources'.

    That dude is a hypocrite who's been living off his fame from the MJ book 20+years ago.

  • In reply to azjeffv:

    Hmm thats interesting I know KC Johnson says the Bulls have been very secretive about things lately. Even KC is kinda clueless as to what the Bulls thinking is. Very interesting.

  • In reply to SoulEater7:

    Seems like their isn't a lot of that going on in the FO anyway. As other contenders load up we unload. Great strategy guys...

  • Doug - Korver does not become fully guaranteed until January. the date that all contracts become guaranteed for rest of season. that is why Sham did not list a date.

    I received confirmation from Sham personally that this is true about january.

  • I wouldn't say Gerald Green was putrid before last year, but at the minimum salary, a young guy who is an elite athlete and at least a solid 3 point shooter....That is an absolute steal. Signing him is the kind of move a smart team makes.

  • In reply to The Ruckus:

    I agree the Bulls need to get more athletic and I think playing Butler and Green, plus Teague those are some nice fresh legs. I would love to see the Bulls bring in Green I think he could really blossom next to Rose pun intended.

    Rose/ Teague
    Rip/ Green
    Deng/ Butler
    Boozer/ Taj
    Noah/ Mohammed

    I think you loose some shooting but gain come athleticism. Maybe they can get Hinrich cheap and help out with Teague. Maybe they place a 5th or 4th seed and have Derrick back for playoffs. Maybe go out in the second round to Miami or Boston but who knows. I think for me I'd like to see them keep Taj and become more athletic. Free up space in the next few season for when Rose is 100% back.

  • I would love to see Gerald Green or Bayless added. Personally I prefer Bayless but give paxs fondness for mediocre old guys I would be thrilled with either. Green came out of HS and tried to play solely off his athleticism and found himself out of the league. So it's no surprise he came back with a three point shot as I am sure that was a wake up call. He played well next to D Will and would next to Rose too.

  • The Bulls are quite cause they don't plan on doing anything and they don't want the media reporting it. They more than likely will match the offer for Asik cause they know nothing about making trades, their track record proves that fact.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    UH OH...BRAKEING NEWS!!! Bulls got their prime Target, Hinrich verbally agrees to sign with the team, let the championship planning begin....LOL LOL LOL!!!

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