Marcus Teague officially signed with the Chicago Bulls yesterday, agreeing to a deal at 100% of the rookie contract rather than the standard 120%.
Few players have ever agreed to less than 120%, about one per, but the ones that do agree to such a deal are typically drafted near the very end of the draft. Ultimately, the Bulls had Teague over a barrel in that he's not necessary to anything they're doing this year [or possibly ever] while Teague had few other options than to hope bad publicity would make the Bulls fold.
While the story of the Bulls going cheap on their latest rookie contract sent ripples through the die hard fan base which is always concerned about the Bulls going cheap, the Chicago market is too broad for such news to really impact the Bulls whom will have no trouble selling tickets and merchandise this year regardless of whether Teague is in the fold.
The move opens up around 200k of extra salary room under the hard cap the Bulls are operating under due to using the MLE rather than the taxpayer MLE to sign Kirk Hinrich (the BAE used to sign Belinelli also forces the hard cap). The Bulls can't exceed that hard cap (74.307 million) using exceptions including the veteran's minimum.
The Bulls are now $758,550 under the hard-cap figure which is $95,839 shy of the room required to sign a veteran player to the minimum of $854,389. The Bulls could add a rookie free agent [which has a lower salary], but that player would still count as the 854k when computing luxury tax.
The Bulls could also add a standard veteran free agent when the season has gone on long enough that the pro-rated salary drops below 758k. Personally, I can't see the Bulls adding anyone to the roster, I think they'd rather pay less tax and will likely attempt to escape the tax all together by moving Rip Hamilton at the deadline he (or the team) is not performing at a high level.
Of course, takers for Rip may be limited, but it might be possible for Chicago to find a team that would take on Rip's salary if the Bulls cover the remainder of it for the season. The question will be whether or not they'll also have to throw in a sweetener to get him off the roster [like a 1st rounder]. If so, any lingering thoughts about the Bulls making basketball decisions will be out the window.