Bulls trade Korver for second rounder and...

The Bulls have reportedly traded Kyle Korver for a second round pick to the Atlanta Hawks via Minnesota. Several questions still seem unresolved at the moment, but however they're resolved, this seems like a good move for the Bulls in terms of retaining flexibility.

Minnesota is sending the Bulls a second round pick, however, there's no word on what Minnesota is getting out of the deal. It's possible that the pick could be a fake second rounder (ie, top 55 protected), but in that case what are they doing in the trade at all? Minnesota has to be getting something here, and since that thing hasn't been defined yet, it seems likely we haven't heard the final word on the details.

Kirk Hinrich may or may not be involved. I've heard that this is both a sign and trade transaction in which the Bulls get back Hinrich, and I've heard it's not (in which case we sign Hinrich later). Hinrich's involvement in the trade would determine whether the Bulls get to use the MMLE and have a 2 million dollar trade exception or whether they get a five million dollar trade exception.

In the S&T version, the Bulls will not officially use the MMLE on Hinrich, instead they will have traded for him. This will allow him to use it on another player. They will also get the difference between Hinrich and Korver's contracts (+100k) in a trade exception which will amount to roughly a 2.1 million dollar exception.

With this, they could take back a player making under 2.1 million dollars in trade without sending anything out (unlikely this means anything). With the MMLE they'd be able to sign another player for up to three million dollars this season.

IF the Bulls don't have Hinrich as part of the sign and trade then they'll get a 5.1 million dollar trade exception. With the exception they can't sign a player outright, however, they could bring a player in via a sign and trade.

There are pros and cons to either solution, but a quick summary is below:

TPE:
PROS
Extends until next off-season
Can be used to facilitate a trade
Can be used on draft night
Can be used during the early part of FA next year
Can bring in more total dollars

CONS
Can't be used to sign a player (only S&T)

MMLE:
PROS
Can be used to sign a player outright

CONS
Can't be used to take a player in a trade
Expires at the end of the season
Can't be used next year (though we'll get another one next year)
Can't be used on draft day to absorb a salary
Less total money can be handed out

I've heard varying possibilities about the trade so far, some I have to keep in confidence, but one interesting one is that Hinrich's inclusion has not yet been decided. The Hawks were pushing to bump up his salary in order to keep their TPE while the Bulls want cash to cover the higher Hinrich salary and the luxury tax hit they'd take. Not sure what to make of that one.

Also, until we find out what Minnesota's angle is here, there's obviously something else going on. The Wolves can't get the trade exception. The trade exception isn't something which can be traded. The trade exception is made when you take back less salary than what you send out. The wolves aren't sending out or receiving salary that we've heard of yet [though some reports say Wayne Ellington who's owed slightly over two million is coming to Chicago].

In the Ellington scenario the Bulls would have roughly a three million dollar trade exception [assuming Hinrich is not involved, or no trade exception if he is].

Within 24 hours or so the details will likely be all cleared up.

No matter how it shakes out, the Bulls are gaining flexibility while letting Korver go and likely saving a bit of cash [not the case if Ellington is involved] on his buyout. This was a nice transaction for the Bulls given that Korver was not going to come back either way. They went out and found a way to add some flexibility to the table to do some more things.

Bulls fans are pretty cynical about whether they'll use that flexibility, and I can hardly blame them, but as I said before, let's not call them cheap yet. If they keep Asik and then use a five million dollar trade exception to make something else happen they'll have shown some serious financial commitment. If they let Asik go and fail to use the exception while fighting to stay under the tax, well that's something else.

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  • Here are the stars of the 2013 Free Agency Class...

    Taking the PGs out... (CP3, Curry (RFA), Collison (RFA), Holiday , RFA), Lawson (RFA), Jennings (RFA)), we have...

    SGs:
    Monta (ETO)
    Iggy (ETO)
    Tyreke (RFA)
    Kmart
    Harden (RFA)
    DeRozan (RFA)
    Manu
    Jax
    Roddy B (RFA)

    SFs:
    Josh Smith

    PFs:
    Taj (RFA)
    West
    Blair
    Ibaka (RFA)
    Milsap
    Al Jeff
    Odom

    Cs:
    Dwight
    Bynum
    Pekovic

    If the Bulls Amnesty Boozer (I don't think they do) next year and trade Deng's expiring, they may have about $15mil...enough to throw a max at one of these guys

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    DeRozen would be an interesting player to put next to rose.

  • In reply to PaBullfan:

    He's an very good athlete and has good size for the postition, but he is a bad shooter, especially for a shooting guard. Plus, he will be a restricted free agent looking to get paid, which likely means that he will be overpaid

    With the Raps drafting Ross and signing Fields, both shooting guards, it would seem that Derozan should available via trade right now.

  • I've always leaned towards matching Asik, and the more I think about it, the more sure I am that they should. They get two years at a good value, and in the poison pill year, they can trade him as a massive expiring or waive him and use the stretch provision to minimize the cap hit. Deng and Booz will be off the books, so the $5m/yr hit if they stretch him over 3 years won't prohibit them from paying Taj or trading for Kevin Love or something.

    I think the key is drafting Asik and Deng's replacements in the next two years, so that you have those roster spots handled at low cost.

    C'mon GarPax, match Asik, sign a shooter and let's hold it down till DRose gets back!

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Maybe give Asik more minutes, and let him play alongside Noah during the season to boost his value and get him better stats...so we can trade him.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    I've been wondering about that. Have we ever played Noah and Asik together for a substantial number of minutes? Sliding Noah to the PF seems like an interesting lineup maneuver to test out, at least. Presumably he's quick enough to guard most 4's.

  • In reply to bzoooty:

    They rarely played together...I would say less than 60min together over the past 2 seasons.

    Thibs just has his set rotation that he never adjusts, so that's why we don't see it happen.

  • How are we all so sure a team will be willing to acquire Asik in the 3rd year of his deal? I'm guessing that the cap is gonna be much harder in 3yrs and I know Asik is a big man and his contract is gonna be expiring, but i don't think teams are really gonna be willing to take that deal.

  • In reply to Flashsonic:

    We're not...unless Asik beasts in year 2.

    Look at Elton Brand and his $18mil contract...nobody wanted it.

    We have to trade him next year, or probably end up having to keep him.

  • This is my first posting. I have read Doug's blog religiously. I have been a Bulls fan since their very first game--anyone remember Erwin Mueller (center) from the early days? Anyway, I felt compelled to write a posting because of an issue that no one has really addressed on this blog, and this concerns D Rose.

    Everyone seems to just assume that D Rose is going to come back and pretty much be the same player that he was before the acl. Starting with the ankle sprain in the ECF in 2011, D Rose had one injury after another in 2012. I can't think of anyone else in the NBA in 2012 that had as many different injuries as D Rose did. I love D Rose as a player and feel that he is a warrior, but, I feel that unfortunately for us, he could be injury- prone going forward based on the number that he had.

    My point is this--we should also be looking at the moves the Bulls have made from the standpoint that their most important asset (D Rose) might never be the same and management is building in a contingency plan just in case. 1) Bulls drafted Teague as D Rose's backup if he comes back eventually as the old Derrick, but also as his replacement if he does not.
    2) They will never amnesty Booze until they are sure D Rose is okay. If he isn't, Derrick is the one they would have to amnesty down the road if this turns into the worst case scenario. I know this is heresy, but I have seen great players go down fast after injuries i.e. Michael Redd, Brandon Roy. I could go on and on with points, but we need to consider worst case--wouldn't you if this was your own business and wanted to protect it from a major risk? If D Rose craters (God forbid),
    what would the Bulls do with his huge contract?

    Someone please respond to me about this. Lastly, I believe the Bulls will match Omer's contracr offer because of the D Rose uncertainty until they really know where they stand. No matter what happens, I will always be a Bulls fan. God speed Derrick! I wish you the best.

  • In reply to JimBob51:

    They would eat his contract like they are with Boozers. Rose signed his deal post CBA and cannot be Amnestied. Not that they would. If it got Brandon Roy bad they would push him to retire.

    If you are not 100% your chance of injury goes way up as you are compensating which adds pressure to other body parts. Rose was clearly never 100% last season but the Bulls in all their wisdom kept putting guys out there and they kept getting injured over and over. Personally I think the medical staff is about as bright as the FO. Rose should be fine going forward though. But his style of play is taxing and will always pose risks of injury just hopefully nothing major.

  • In reply to Chad:

    Thanks for filling me in on the fact that Rose 's contract could not be amnestied.

  • In reply to JimBob51:

    After the initial Turf Toe injury, I completely blame the consequent on Thibs.

    Thibs pushes his guys hard in practice and on the floor. Like he's doing with Deng now, he pushed Rose to go out and play injured (he actually had some quote saying the best way to get over an injury is to play more).

    And after returning from these injuries (mostly coming back too early), Thibs would throw these guys out for 40+min (Rip too btw, which is why he kept getting injured).

    That's why all these injuries piled up for Rose. Because for the previous 3 years, he missed a total of something like 6 games.

  • In reply to YouBlewwIt:

    You could be right about Thibs, but he doesn't play someone unless they are cleared by the med staff. My blame goes dirrectly to them. Thibs may have to play them smarter minutes, but I don't expect him to be the medical expert.

  • I think its a bit doom and gloom to think rose might not come back the same. They should definitely make him play a more traditional point guard role, facilitating and when the ball gets kicked back to him shoot the 3 which he likes to do anyway. We probably won't see the attacking the rim at all costs mentality anymore and I'm ok with that but I would like him to sharpen that shot put floater to take the place of attacking the rim. Part of the blame has to go on management, since the departure of ben gordon, they have failed horribly to land a young shooting guard that can carry the scoring load and ball handling. When you expect your point guard to try and play two positions at the same time, he'll eventually break down.

  • Minnesota is going to be sending out some salary so that they can actually offer Batum & Roy all of the money that they promised. That has to be their motivation in giving up a second round pick.

  • The flexibility agruments certainly make some sense if they are looking to spend money down the road.

    HOwever, It seems to me that if the Bulls are going thru all these gymnastics just to rid themselves of the $500,000 that they would owe Korver if they waived him, then it is very likely a sign that they are looking for a way to stay under the luxury tax this season, therefore, not matching on Asik.

    From the calculations that I have made, once the Bulls sign Hinrich, the only way that they can stay under the tax line is by filling all 5 remaining roster spots with rookies or players with zero years of NBA experience at the NBA absolute minimum of about $468,000. Korvers $500,000 could be the difference between being a few dollars over the tax vs being a few dollars under it.

    To me the Korver move is a sign that they will not match on Asik, and the Doug's worst fears are true. The Bulls simply refuse to spend money to retain any assets if it means paying the tax.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Nobody should be surprised by the Korver move, it was telegraphed from a mile out. Say what you like about sports journalism, when they report something like the Bulls not wanting to pay the tax it's coming from somewhere. There's no budget for investigative journalism these days so chances are it's a deliberate leak from someone inside the org.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Also there is a way to get more than rookie players in without paying the tax: dump Rip Hamilton. "Shockingly" KC Johnson reports the Bulls are ... shopping Rip Hamilton.

    I think I'd rather live with the rookies because getting rid of Rip's contract will cost a pick IMO.

  • Speculation is that the Knicks might decline to match on Lin ... looks like the idea of paying 45 million for a relatively unproven player in a couple of seasons (after luxury tax) might be a bridge too far even for the biggest market team in the NBA.

    I still think they'll eventually match, but it does go to show there is a limit. Not every team's limit will be at the tax, but 5 million into it? 10 million? 15 million? Owners will draw a line at spending money somewhere. Hopefully the Bulls GMs know exactly where ownership has drawn that line for them.

    If the Bulls match Asik they'll be facing a similar problem. Yes they could just let Deng walk that year and avoid a huge tax hit, but how does that help the team? No team is going to want Asik's inflated salary if they match this deal, so the Bulls are going to end up as the team on the hook for it. If the Bulls aren't willing to pay whatever it takes then they have to let Asik walk.

  • The Knicks have apparently acquired Raymond Felton in an S&T from Portland, leading to speculation that the Knicks will not match on Lin.

    If Houston does land Lin, can they really afford to offer Asik the same deal. They would be paying Lin and Asik $15 million each in 2014, or more than half the salary cap.

    There has to be a reason, or reasons that the Rockets have yet to offer Asik his deal to sign, maybe they never will.

    F.Y.I. A team paying the repeater tax in the new CBA, which the Knicks will almost certainly be in 2014(the 3rd year of Lins deal) would pay a tax of $65 million if its payroll was "only" $20 million over the tax line. A non repeat offender would pay a tax of $45 million.

    Not sure what the record tax payment has been to date, but I am certain that it has never been anywhere near either of those numbers.

    I think that the maximum team salary will be limited to something between $10 to $15 million over the tax line, $80-85 million in todays dollars, and even then only for a year or two at a time.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    The Knicks paid $45 million in tax in 2007 ... for a 33 win team. I think that's the record. 45 million over with repeater tax would be 200+ million now, so not even the Knicks are going to be keen on that.

  • Houston promised Asik this deal. His people stopped negotiating with any other teams. They can't back out now because they think something better might work out. The agreement is in place, and the only way out is if Asik's people don't want it to happen. And since he would have to forfeit ten million dollars, that ain't going to happen.

    This is the same as when a team (like Cleveland) promises a player (Dion Waiters) that they will draft them, and in exchange that player must stop working out for other teams who may sneak higher to pick him. You can't change your mind and pick someone else on draft night because it would be too late for the player to audition for other teams.

    Asik can't turn around and deal with other teams because they have all spent their cap money. If Houston backed out now, every agent in the NBA would cry bloody murder. It just won't happen, and the fact you can't understand this is as telling as when you thought Morey would trade two or three of his mid first round picks to the Bulls and take back an ugly contract out of the kindness of his heart.

  • In reply to sfpaper:

    Absolutely. Zero chance that the Rockets back out of offering Asik a deal. But the increasing speculation that the Knicks will pass on Lin suggests that there's at least an inkling of validity to the surprising suggestion made by another commenter (I can't remember whom) that the Rockets could incentivize the Bulls to match on Omer. I don't think the NBA has ever seen a move like that before, but if Lin goes to Houston and Morey lands (or thinks he has a real chance of landing) Dwight, then we could in theory see something worked out between the Rockets and Bulls. The real problem is they won't have many assets to give us after sending everything decent to Orlando.

    I know Houston is telling everyone they can still make multiple different strong offers even if they end up with both Lin and Asik, but you gotta think the Magic will keep pushing to get rid of large contacts, and that definitely becomes trickier if neither NY nor Chicago match the offer sheets.

    In any case, Houston would be an exciting team with Lin and Howard. Basically it'd be the Magic plus Lin, relocated to Texas and with a much better front office.

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