C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer's contracts need to be waived or guaranteed today. The expectation is that the Bulls will waive both players unless they're able to trade them while on CSN last night, Aggrey Sam noted the Bulls were back and forth on Asik, but were presently considering letting him go to Houston rather than matching.
IF the Bulls end up not doing anything with Brewer/Watson's contracts then it will result in a missed opportunity for the franchise. They could have trivially moved them for extra draft choices on draft day by taking on salary. They could have kept them on the books this year in order to have more salary to match in a trade at the deadline as well as to improve the team while they play.
In short, while neither player is of particular importance to the franchise, the contracts could have been used as assets to bring back other assets to Chicago. The Bulls will likely let both of these assets disappear for nothing.
My hope is that Golden State wants to claim C.J. Watson with their traded player exception, and the Bulls can work out a trade with the Warriors. The Bulls would get nothing back in this trade most likely (a top 55 protected 2nd rounder) while sending out Watson for nothing. However, they would get a 3.2 million dollar trade exception to grease the wheels on a trade in the future or perhaps take on a small contract in the draft to buy a 1st round pick.
Not matching Asik makes little sense in the big picture
I get why the Bulls wouldn't match Omer, but if they decide not to match him, then they missed out on the best players they could have had this off-season. Without Omer, the Bulls could have used the full MLE and pursued Mayo, Lee, Rush, and other players. However, the Bulls instead went after Hinrich with the MMLE to leave flexibility open.
It occurred to me yesterday that the Bulls have no option whatsoever to S&T Omer to Houston. The most Chicago can sign him to is a 3/15 deal not the 3/24 deal Houston signed him to. They are literally in a match/no match situation the whole time. Shoot down some previous ideas, but my apologies.
I don't really mind letting Omer go at the price he's offered, but it's disappointing to let Omer go and then run the rest of the off-season like you did.
Kyle Korver has a guarantee date of Sunday?
K.C. Johnson reported the Bulls have to make a decision on Korver by Sunday. This isn't something that was known previously. Mark Deeks of Shamsports had noted that Korver had no guarantee date except the Janaury. It's possible the Bulls have simply said they'll let him know by Sunday rather than having a hard date, but it's a ridiculous business decision to give up on the flexibility of Korver in a trade if you don't need to.
It'd be an incredibly "personnel" friendly decision to let Korver out of his contract early rather than hanging on to him as trade bait until the last second. If the Bulls don't want to keep Korver, they need to attempt to trade him to get a traded player exception. A team under the cap takes Korver, waives him to remove his cap hit and gets money from the Bulls to compensate them. They lose 500k of cap space, we gain a 5 million dollar TPE, they get cash to make it worthwhile.
It seems like an obvious transaction to me to attempt and one which should have multiple teams willing to sell 500k of cap space for some cash. Again, it just opens up a ton of flexibility for a potential deal later.
I've been wrong about several cap things [and corrected myself] this year including the following:
1: Any thoughts about Omer S&T
2: Apron teams not allowed to do S&Ts this year (starts next year)
3: Watson/Brewer's guarantee dates
Rough year for me when trying to convey the Bulls cap situation. I generally pride myself on attempting to deliver accurate detailed cap information, and I'm disappointed in myself for letting you guys down at points this off-season. I'll strive to do better.
Are the Bulls trying to avoid the tax?
With C.J. and Brewer almost certainly gone, Bulls (allegedly) leaning on not bringing back Asik, and Korver likely gone as well, the Bulls would get under the luxury tax threshold. Chicago has discussed making "basketball decisions not financial decisions" this off-season.
However, IF the off-season breaks down that way [and I don't believe it will], then we have to seriously question that. The Bulls will have replaced CJ, Brewer, Korver, Asik with Hinrich, Teague, increasing Butlers role, and vet min guys.
The Bulls won based on their depth and just dumped all of it. In addition to dumping it, they didn't take the opportunity to trade any of it away at points where they could have accepted salary for the contracts. This gets back to my Ben Gordon litmus test from a few weeks ago.
I had said the Bulls passed up a tremendous opportunity with Gordon and unless they did something else with the contracts it would be atrocious. Chicago could have trivially traded Korver + Brewer for Gordon rather than waiving the pair. Gordon would help the team more than either of them anyway, and would certainly be a big addition to the roster as it presently exists. His contract sucks, but it wouldn't really hurt anything in terms of flexibility with how the rest of the off-season went.
The Bulls would get a likely lottery pick from Detroit for making such a move considerably strengthening their future assets even if they immediately waived Ben Gordon. In other words, this trade helped them long term and short term and only hurt the bottom line. However, they didn't make it.
Now if they didn't make it because something better was going to happen that's great, but they didn't make something better happen, and we haven't even heard of an attempt to make something better happen. In the end, they just opted to have one less potential lottery pick and a weaker roster.
Due to some late night tweeting, I've gotten plenty of feedback on twitter to go over. Here are my more extended responses to try and clarify points.
@jklein78 The Bulls could also consider trading Howard at the deadline to build more assets for subsequent years.
If the Bulls trade for Howard, they won't trade him again at the deadline. They'd never get the assets back that they gave up to get him in the first place. They'd instead play hardball with him in the off-season. A trade to the Nets would likely be dead in this scenario as well because the Nets would likely be unable to do a S&T once the season starts.
@NBATradeIdeas A second shot creator is available (Brooks) 4 CHEAP (lott-protected 1st)..and GarPax is yet again sitting on their hands
I like Aaron Brooks, but he fills no long term need because he can't play SG, and the Bulls have Hinrich and Teague to back up Rose for the next two seasons. I wouldn't give up a 1st rounder to get Brooks based on the present roster composition, but he's someone I would have gone after ahead of Hinrich if I felt we could get him without Phoenix matching [though that seems unlikely given our offer would be very cheap].
@cory4280 congratulations Bulls fans with dh12 going to the nets we becomethe 4th best team in the east aka atlhawk
I still have pretty serious doubts this trade ultimately gets done. However, if it does, then the Bulls will certainly be behind the Nets. However, let's not exaggerate. A healthy Bulls team mops up the Celtics/Knicks IMO.
@Rudens23 Rockets not on Howard's list but still trying to get him. Don't know why our management doesn't have the courage to do the same
It's a mystery to me as well. I laid out all the arguments in yesterday's article. It's pretty low risk for Chicago IMO because you immediately move into a flexible cap space plan if it doesn't work out.
@BobbyC_TheTribe Do any of those moves move Bulls closer to a title? Answer is probably no, so nothing insulting.
Yes, trading the Bulls non guaranteed players for future draft picks pushes you closer to a title. Trading them to get trade exceptions pushes you closer to a title. Trading them to get Ben Gordon AND a likely lottery pick pushes you closer to a title.
The Nets are looking for extra 1st round picks to complete the Dwight Howard trade because they need sweeteners. Why do you think it wouldn't be valuable for us to have them? Instead we're going to have nothing.
If you can have nothing or two mid/late 1sts what would you choose? Nothing or a TPE what do you choose? Nothing or Gordon and a lottery pick? Something is better than nothing when pursuing a title in all cases.
@_BryanCrawford Define competitive? Still gonna make the Playoffs. No need to spend money on a washed season.
@Greg_Whelan you don't think Noah, Boozer, Deng, Hamilton, Rose, Taj, Hinrich, Butler is enough to be a competitive rotation?
By competitive, I mean they will have no chance whatsoever to beat Miami or a Nets team with Howard. They'll be very good, but they'll be the Pacers or Hawks.
The reason to "spend money on a washed season" is that the assets you get for that money are valuable beyond that season. Getting extra draft choices saves you money long term on cheap talent, keeps infusing your team with talent, and helps you complete trades that improve the team.
Trade Exceptions allow you to make better trades or add talent for nothing later [that's how the Lakers got Steve Nash].
I'm not upset that the Bulls didn't rent a bunch of players who'd be gone in one year. I'm upset because we have assets and may let them go without getting anything back. The Bulls will come back worse this season than last season [even after Rose is healthy] and have less trade flexibility and assets to improve than they had this off-season.
Next year they won't have the flexibility of 13 million in expirings to make a big deal.
@BobbyC_TheTribe None of those would push Bulls into luxury tax. Saying Bulls should match Asik to avoid "insulting" fans is pointless.
To clarify, I meant if they don't bring back Korver, Brewer, Watson, or Asik and tell us that their decisions are basketball based rather than financially based is insulting. The order of my tweets and 140 character limit made that point get broken up a bit.
I don't consider any single move a big deal. It's the [potential] overall lack of spending and watching assets walk away for nothing while saying that the decisions are basketball based rather than financially based that bothers me.
@BobbyC_TheTribe Even if Bulls bring every1 back do you see them as title contender over 2-4 years. I dont so why hurt future cap flex to appease
There are tons of moves they could have made that wouldn't have hurt their cap room in two years in order to improve the team both this year and in the future. Trading for short term salaries with draft picks or getting trade exceptions or even getting Ben Gordon wouldn't hurt the cap in the next year the Bulls have a chance to be under.
@_SincereUnique Do you think one of the summer league players (Jermaine Taylor) catches on to the main roster?
Summer league will get you a camp invite. A camp invite then gives you a shot to make the team. However, I'd predict the answer is no.
@brightlocs17 can you be #bulls gm since you know more than our current cheap-as-hell gm's doing nothing while other teams getting stacked.
I couldn't make Jerry Reinsdorf and crew spend money either.
@coolguy1997 was that trade scenario really an option for bulls? Was that offered?
(Re Gordon for Brewer/Korver) Who knows if it was really offered, but it was a better deal for Detroit than what they got for Ben Gordon, so they would have taken it if it was.
@chitownalumni when do we the Bulls get Bobcats pick and what kind of protection does it have??
2013: top 12
2014: top 10
2015: top 8
Let's root for a #1 in 2016
@DerekandJana Bulls too scared of luxury tax. Think they end up letting Asik go and resign Gibson next yr.
If ownership won't pay for both, it's the right decision, but if we're scared of the tax while trying to win a championship then it's a sad time to be a Bulls fan.
@TCBullfrog It's funny--the #WhiteSox always talk about not having money due to attendance; #Bulls don't spend either but never mention why
Beyond that, it appears there is ALWAYS room for the White Sox to make a big move if they need to make one.
@shaneyboy16 doug works for the heat not the bulls. the heat are the OLDEST team in the league only a co worker like doug
@shaneyboy16 could give that FOSSIL team so much credit
They just won the title, how are you not giving them credit? Also, there's only three players that really matter on the Heat and none of them are old.
@chitownalumni not to look to far ahead but if Love still unhappy after next yr I go all in. Rights to Mirotic, picks, and whatever players
Kevin Love should definitely be on our radar as a player to trade for. That's one reason it would have been nice to load up on extra 1st round picks using our non guaranteed guys. If he's still upset at the end of the season, you can then offer three or four 1sts for Love.
@DaMac0831 how does keeping asik help long term? Cant win a chip next year anyways. Dump the salary and go hard in two years with more $
He's a good player? Bulls could use him as an expiring deal if they need to make a trade in his final year, and they'll be unlikely to be far enough under the cap to make a difference. Having large expiring deals is the next best thing.
It also leaves them the flexibility to trade Noah in a deal to improve the team and gives them more options.
@DaMayor73 And you think adding a Ben Gordon gets us there? An undersized SG with no handles or defense? #funnystuff
It's even funnier stuff when someone takes a fragment of what you said, changes the meaning and then posts a witty reply. I don't think Ben Gordon wins a title for Chicago, but there are two problems with this.
There are very few singular moves that win you a title. Getting Dwight Howard [which I've strongly advocated even without an extension] is the only legitimately possible one right now. Other moves just make your team strong or weaker.
Ben Gordon vs nothing makes the team considerably stronger. He provides shot creation and shooting both of which this team badly needs.
Secondly, I noted that we would be getting a lottery pick in order to take Ben Gordon. If you want to ignore Ben Gordon because he's 6'3 then that's cool. Focus on the fact that you're getting a lottery pick for nothing.
Lottery picks also help teams win.
@corbinboucek Bulls are clearly playing for 2014, which from fan's perspective is terrible when you only have so long with Rose.
I could live for playing for 2014, but if you were doing that they you trade all of your non guaranteed contracts for assets that come due in 2014. You trade Luol Deng (FA at that point) for Harrison Barnes to reload for 2014.
We could have traded Korver/Brewer for Gordon + lotto pick then Deng for Barnes, then Watson for some 2 year deal and a pick, and then amnesty Boozer in 2014 and had likely two more lotto talents on the team and cap room.
Instead, we're doing a hybrid plan of not really going for it now, but not looking to truly maximize 2014 either. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, if the right move falls into our lap then we go for it and hope to circumvent a true rebuild.
Hopefully we find that right move, but I'm not hopeful.