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.