Chicago, we have a Derrick Rose problem

It's not Mike Dunleavy jr. It's not a weak bench. It's not the lack of a secondary shot creator, and it's not the defense. The Bulls have one major problem right now. Derrick Rose. Other players aren't playing at their peak. Joakim Noah's had a rough start, Luol Deng is shooting 1/12 from the three point line, and no one on the team is shooting better than 33% from beyond the arc.

However, all of those things combined don't amount to the Derrick Rose problem.

I once promised if the Bulls ever won a title, I'd get a 1.7 tattoo symbolizing the odds of the Bulls drafting Rose. Right now, 1.7 stands for his PER. Derrick Rose's last three games? They're worse than any three consecutive games he's had in his career.

Heck, the two losses probably rank up their as two of the worst games in his career period.

So the Bulls have a Derrick Rose problem.

In the midst of their Derrick Rose problem, Reggie Rose is apparently sounding the "Derrick's going to leave" drum again with Stephen A. Smith. At least in one of those connect the dots, allegedly kind of ways.

Smith was seen talking to Reggie for 15 minutes then breaks the news that Rose will leave the Bulls if they don't improve the team.

So what do we make of these Derrick Rose problems?

I suppose it's nothing, everything, or somewhere in between. We won't know until it plays out. However, I'm confidently driving the "nothing to worry about" bandwagon right now.

Reggie Rose is an annoying blowhard

It seems like this guy pops up just to cause Derrick trouble. Nothing good can ever come from stories like this, but apparently there's some segment of the population [and Reggie belongs to it] that thinks the Bulls management simply doesn't want to win and has five or six deals on the table for superstars nightly but laughs over cigars as they tear them up.

Only if Derrick Rose makes a legitimate threat will they dare to improve the team, because they're scared to win, don't want to win, or whatever other logical fallacy this thought process creates. Seriously, step back in to reality and have an honest moment with yourself about how badly you think John Paxson wants to win.

The guy looks like he's aged 50 years as GM of the Bulls, you don't think he wants to win with a desperation that vastly exceeds any of the fans? I'm guessing he's pursuing that with a singular focus.

However, in the Bulls case, Rose is locked up until the summer of 2017 which happens to be three seasons after this one. At that point, Rose may leave, but at that point we may not mind so much either. There's certainly no reason to worry about it now.

On court performance is horrific but not worrisome

When I tell you that Derrick Rose has been a total train wreck on the court, I don't mean "let's trade him", "Derrick Rose sucks", or "the Bulls will never recover". I mean Derrick Rose just won the survivor championship of horrific play on small sample size island.

The Bulls will ride this out as long as it takes. They have no other choice, but here's the thing. This isn't 2007/08 where the team will fall apart. Derrick Rose isn't going to go in the tank. The signs are fairly clear as to why.

Most of his turnovers are of the 'idiot' variety.

He's throwing the ball around like crazy, worse than he ever did even as a rookie. He's got the MVP level confidence combined with rookie timing.

Am I happy about that? Nope. However, it's easy to recognize that Derrick Rose is highly unlikely to keep passing the ball at people's feet, sailing passes over everyone's head or making lazy passes that get picked off.

This general sloppiness simply comes from not playing in NBA games against NBA caliber competition and will correct itself shortly.

He's getting to his spots

Derrick Rose has been living in the paint. He's taking tons of floaters that he normally knocks down and simply missing them. He's generating open jumpers but failing to knock them down.

In short, unless we think that Derrick Rose permanently forgot how to shoot a basketball or knock down a floater then his scoring touch will improve. The quality of shot he generates for himself and others still looks very high.

Mostly likely, he's simply going through a combination of cold spell, reduced confidence in his shot, and adjustment to the NBA game again.

Derrick has struggled with his form returning form injury before

Remember how awful he was at the start of his second year when he was hurt in preseason? There were serious threads on the realgm forum about trading Derrick Rose for Brandon Jennings.

Quite simply, Rose, like Noah, is a guy who takes a bit of time to round into form when returning from an injury. Both of the above points highlight that.

Athletically, Derrick's right where he needs to be. Clean up the sloppy passes, finish a couple more floaters, and knock down a few jumpers and he's right back to superstar level of play again.

The line between superstar and pathetic can be perilously thin because a guy who continues to shoot, pass, and dominate the ball like a star while his game is totally out of sync will create a far more horrific stat line than a role player ever could.

However, that's just what Derrick should continue to do in order to play himself out of this funk.

30 days from now the Bulls might not have as many wins as we hoped, but Derrick will look like his old self and the arrow will be pointed up again.

Just remember, Miami's 1-2 as well.

Filed under: Players

Tags: chicago bulls, derrick rose, nba

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  • One of Thibs' mantras is "you can't skip steps." Derrick thought that by sitting all last year, he could skip the "plays like crap after long layoff step." Nope. He's all the way back athletically, but he can't make decisions against legitimate NBA competition yet. There's no way out of this but to play through it, but I'm not freaking out. If he were truly healthy last year, I wish he would've gotten it out of the way during a season that was basically written off, but whatever. That's water under the bridge. By the All-Star break, he'll be fine.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    Agree, the 3 point D has been horrific. Is there a fixable reason for that, or is it that we are simply not as good as we think we are.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I don't know which is worse- the fact that we are allowing our opponents to shoot 47% on 3's, or the fact that we are shooting 23.2% on 3's.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Those are both pretty god awful signs.

  • In reply to Tyler Soze:

    You got that one 100% correct. Let's check back in at the All-Star break to see how Rose is doing. It's going to ugly for a while, its just a necessary part of regaining his form from major ACL surgery - there's no way to avoid it, it may take half a season.

  • I think it is (partially) the defense. It's not together yet. We are getting absolutely murdered on 3s. If we can get the opponents 3s under control, both the Heat and Sixers games would have played out very differently.

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    This is why any Moron can have a blog and for Chicago Now to place it on their website makes me wonder about the editorial control at the site. Last I checked, the playoffs are not in November. Plus Derrick Rose has not played in a regular season basketball game (you can't count preseason where you are playing against Developmental League players for a good portion of the time) in more than 18 months.

  • In reply to Edward Kensik:

    Go away dick, Doug has forgotten more about the Bulls than you know about them.

  • In reply to Edward Kensik:

    Did you read the article? He said he's concerned, but not worried yet... that hopefully it's just rust. I think you and Doug said about the same thing. Jeez...

  • In reply to Edward Kensik:

    There is no editorial control, just like every other blog site in the world. We are allowed to write whatever we want any time we want, just like every other blogger.

    I am looking forward to your new Bulls blog though, since it's so easy I'm sure you'll be signing up soon and we can all see if you are a moron or not.

  • The turnovers should go down with more play but one thing Rose does constantly is jump to pass the ball which any coach will tell you is a bad idea but thats how he likes to pass. I think he'll be ok and our 3pt line defense should get better. The rebounding has been pretty solid throughout but the offense and defense haven't been in sync. It's still early and we need to give these guys time to get their timing and chemistry back. Our superstar should get back to form but he'll need time to knock off the rust.

  • In reply to Defense-Rebound13:

    The jump to pass thing is interesting, because there were a few times in the Philly game where he jump passed for no reason whatsoever.

  • Sorry Doug, but I do think the Bulls have a weak bench and do need another shot creator. So far, Doneleavy has made me believe that we should have kept Korver or Nate at any cost. I really don't think we have a deep bench at all and when the inevitable injury comes, look out. Surely, the Bulls could have done better than Mike James.

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Dunleavy has played 3 games as a Bull, surely it's not too early to judge him?

    Have you compared Mike James to other teams' 13th man?

  • In reply to hgarbell:

    Taj Gibson, Kirk Hinrich, and Mike Dunleavy compare favorably to other team's 6-8 guys IMO. I think they're missing one more playable big man though maybe I'm underestimating Nazr a bit there.

    Not sure how much they get from Teague, Murphy, Snell, or James, but most teams aren't getting a lot out of 10-13.

  • Yeah he looks bad now but athletically he is back and the rest will follow. If he is still playing like this in 2-3 weeks then I may start to worry. It would be nice though if his teamates could support him instead of also playing like crap... Where is Loul? Why has Jimmy Butler been playing scared? Boozer has been the only consistent player so far and they haven't been using him enough. Time to feed the Boozer!

  • In reply to Chad:

    It is a pretty scary state of affairs when Boozer is the one player that people aren't critisizing.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    BigWay, that is funny, isn't it? I was thinking the same thing about Boozer - suddenly the most consistently decent player on the team. However, it is only 3 games!

    A few thoughts:
    1) Thibs reportedly wanted Dunleavy - the team could have kept Belli or Nate instead for the same money, but Dunleavy can do more stuff.
    2) The Bulls could sign some better players, but the contracts would have to be higher, so it could severely handicap the team for future moves which could cost a NBA championship down the road. I do not think it's worth it.
    Mirotic and the Charlotte pick are coming, so expect a large infusion of talent, and at a lower cost than some of the signings fans would like. Plus the Bulls will have pieces to make a blockbuster trade if they find a partner. The FO especially needs to be careful now not to mess up the potential for the future!
    3) It may be that Thibs and the FO agreed that the starter minutes needed to be reduced to reduce injuries and to enter the playoffs more rested. Whether they agreed or not, in needed to happen;
    4) The biggest problem is Rose - that is not the FO's fault;
    5) The second big problem is Noah - that also is not the fault of the FO;
    6) The third big problem is Butler - again, not the FO's fault. All three of these guys are playing WAY below their potential;
    7) However, as many fans have pointed out, and I agree, Snell needs to play more, and to a lessor extent, Teague and Murphy. BTW, this will add a few more losses, but it may be worth it. But I suppose getting Thibs to lower the starter minutes is about all we can expect for one season!

  • In reply to rustyw:

    I generally agree, though one minor note, the Bulls couldn't have signed better plays by using more money. They didn't have more money to spend this year.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's only scary that you aren't criticizing him, I'm figuring someone hacked your account. :-)

    If Boozer is our best player all year, I don't see how we make the playoffs.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    Well, the only way that Boozer is our best player all year, is if everybody else continues to have their career worst game for every remaining game of the season. So yea, if that happens we won't make the playoffs.

    somehow, I don't think that is what you meant.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    No, that's pretty much what I meant.

    If Boozer were to have the best year he's physically capable of having right now, Rose, Noah, Butler and Deng would all have to have down seasons to not be better than Boozer.

    Even the most optimistic of Bulls fan has to know that Boozer's 21/12 days are long gone, and while he's still an elite defensive rebounder, he's still our 5th best starter.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    It's bizarro world where up is down, down is up, Derrick Rose stinks and Carlos Boozer is awesome.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Kind of like the stock market under QE.

  • Sorry but im on the Reggie Rose and Stephen A Smith bandwagon. Its the same old crap every year with this Bulls team, good regular season team with all of the pressure to win on Rose, then playoffs come, a good team like the Heat shuts down Rose then what???.. No other go to guy to go to and the Bulls gets bounced out. Good defensive team that can't score when needed cause Rose, a poi.t guard is the main scorer. That formula will never work.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    yes, Reese1, I'm with you too now. I was a big Deng supporter all summer, thinking that he would be better this year... that he's been playing hurt and the thumb will be fully healed... it's a contract year... yada yada.

    Deng or Noah need to go. Deng for sure, and Noah, maybe.

    At SG next to Rose, the Bulls needs a dead-eye shooter, or possibly a combo guard that can make plays and shoot well enough to space the floor. That I know from watching this mess. Butler should be ok. Deng has no ability to create offense.

    Noah is a good player, but he is not an offensive weapon at all. Every once in a while he'll string a few games together where he's hitting his mid range shot. It's always a surprise to me, but I'm hopeful that it will continue but it never does. He is a great passer and rebounder and above average defender. (not superior defender because he's an average rim protector at best. While he can't block shots, he is mobile and excels switching on smaller players.)

    Perhaps it's Carmello. Perhaps there's another undersized player that has not gotten an opportunity. I just know that Rose needs help - on the wing and possibly in the post.

  • In reply to Granby:

    You are wrong on Noah, but right on Deng. You can't have all 5 positions manned by all NBA offensive players, it doesn't work or win. As I've been saying for years. We need a solid 3-4 bigman rotation to provide a foundation of rebounding and defense(that would be Noah, Gibson, Asik and one more guy(not named boozer).

    We then need 2 scoring wings to pair with Rose, guys who are legitimate 3 point threats, as Rose needs to be himself.

    Rose needs to recover to his MVP form before anything else matters, but once he does, these other issues will still haunt us, especially in the playoffs.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Im getting to the point that Noah may have to be traded, don't want that what so ever but this offensive scoring problem has to be addressed and Noah seem to be hurt an awful lot every season. Again i don't wont Noah gone ut something has to be done or make Gasol of the Lakers an offer he can't refuse even tho i know he will never leave the Lakers.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    And the Sixers loss imo is a big and telling loss that no one is admitting to.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    If the Bulls trade for someone who can score, Noah's going in the deal. There's no one else for the Bulls to offer that's interesting. You wonder what you could get for Noah + Butler.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    isn't that the Melo trade replacing Deng with the new Deng

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Rose needs to give some of that money back then. If he isn't good enough to be the man, regardless of who his teammates are, then he's a fraud. Personnally, I think he is, but you don't seem to think so.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    No he's not a fraud, Rose has proven he's a MVP type of player, but again...HE'S A POINT GUARD! Point guards normally needs to be surrounded with other playersthat can score the damn ball but Rose doesn't have that so he has to be the one that has to score the majority of the points which is really basketball ignorance having your point guard as the leading scorer. And the Bulls had to pay him all of that money, it's not about him giving it back.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Good point guards make it easier for their mediocre teammates to score.

  • In reply to bullshooter:

    That's just it, Rose and everyone else knows the players that are around Rose now can't score when he does get them the ball. This has been going on for years now it's nothing new.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    You're 100% right that Rose shouldn't be the leading scorer as long as he's the PG. I won't be surprised if Rose moves to SG if the Bulls can get a tall PG who can guard SG.

    Or if he plays with Teague at PG, I think the Bulls like him because if he's serviceable as at least a backup, that's the fastest backcourt in the NBA, easily.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    Derrick Rose isn't a "vision" guy though. He never was and likely never will be. He plays point guard, but he's a score first player.

    I think that ultimately is better for Chicago than worse. I want my best player to score first and past second.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    I tottally agree with you. We will never win a title until there is at least one other scoring option than Rose.

    It's simple, we have the champion type defense but we have an average type offense.

    Thibs is just an opposite of Mike d'anthony. all he is do is preaching Defense. He doesn't care about offense.

  • In reply to Reese1:

    "The same old crap every year"????

    The Heat have shut down Rose in the playoffs ONCE. ONE TIME.

    I'm curious as to when "once in the history of mankind" turned into "every year".

  • I am not concerned about Rose long-term. As others have mentioned, the speed and quickness seem to be there, which is what was feared may be lost after the injury.

    What I am concerned about is the bench "shooters" (Dunleavy, Hinrich and Snell). I almost expect Wreck-It-Ralph to move into the pile of bricks they've hoisted. It seems as though the Bulls starters get by early on in games due to athleticism and defense, and once the bench (these guys) comes into the game, it devolves into a cr@pfest. I can buy Snell needing some adjustment time, but Hinrich and Dunleavy have none of the excuses that can be applied to Rose or Snell. They've just looked straight up terrible.

    Also agree about the point about Boozer. At one point, he was like 4 of 5 or 5 of 6 in the Philly game, and they totally ignored him the rest of the game. I don't think Boozer gives you too much, but when he is giving it to you, ride it out until he stops. Watching Hinrich brick shot after shot that could have been punched down low is sickening.

  • In reply to Salvamini:

    Hinrich had 6 assists in 20 minutes, playing with bench that can't score. Funny.

    "It seems as though the Bulls starters get by early on in games due to athleticism and defense, and once the bench (these guys) comes into the game, it devolves into a cr@pfest."

    Even funnier. The Philly game:

    Rose -11
    Butler -2
    Boozer -5
    Deng -13
    Noah -11

    Gibson +8 in 20 min
    Dunleavy +9 in 16 min
    Nazr +2 in 8 min
    Kirk +8 in 20 min

    You should put down your pre-conceived notions and hatred and look at what actually happened in the game.

    The Bulls bench won their part of the game, the starters sucked.

  • In reply to Don Ellis:

    If you want to resort to stats, how about these:

    Player : PER : Shooting %
    Dunleavy: 7.9: 33%
    Hinrich: 7.0: 40%
    Snell: -22.4: 0%

    If that is what you want trying to help space the floor for Derrick Rose, heaven help you.

    Also, since you love +/-, here it is from the Miami Game:

    Dunleavy: -10
    Hinrich: -19
    Snell: -10

    They were all also in the negative for the Knicks game. So, using your stat, they sucked 2 out of 3 games. Bravo on your point!

    Any way you prefer to slice it, Dunleavy and Hinrich have been bad; and at least one of them need to be competent in order for the Bulls to have any slim hope of a title. Snell gets somewhat of a pass at this point. Rookie + limited opportunity = not a lot of room for in-season improvement.

  • I am concerned with the Bulls. I thought they had a decent shot this year. They still can contend, but it will take time for Rose to work back and all the players to learn to play with Rose again. Nobody is shooting well at all and defense has been pretty bad, too.

    Help is on the way!
    1. Mirotic coming over next year and he's exactly what the Bulls need since he can shoot. Mirotic can open it up for Rose and would mesh well with Noah.
    2. Deng is off the books and possibly Boozer, too. Boozer has been solid, but there is nobody who can say with a straight face that he will be Rose's side kick and play well in the playoffs. Hinrich may be back, but probably at league minimum. That should clear cap space for another wing to pair with Butler.
    3. There must be someone available in the league to play SG that can shoot and create a shot. Perhaps that player is undersized, or is not the best defender, but that will enable the player to become available. I'd consider trading Noah if we could get an offensive wing. It's easier to get a hustle-rebounding-glue-guy center than to find a skillful wing.

  • My take on this is simple and reassuring. Derek is struggling on return to NBA after ACL surgery. As expected. Clearly he did not avoid this period by taking extra time off. It remains to be seen whether his return to a high level of performance is quicker this season than it would have been last season. It's hard to compare the impact of his return to, say, Imam Shumpert, because DRose is the absolute focus of everything that the Bulls are doing on offense. So when he struggles, the whole team struggles, no way around it.

    I'm suggesting that if he had returned on schedule, he might have taken one to two months as expected to return to form. 30+ games of confusion? That would have basically destroyed the Bulls competitiveness last season. Maybe last season SHOULD have been sacrificed on the altar of prepping Derrick for our title run this year... a valid argument... but it seems he and the Bulls chose instead to maximize his knee safety and, if necessary, sacrifice a few games at the beginning of THIS season for he AND the rest of the team to rediscover how to play behind his aggressive offense.

    So let's wait just a little longer. If Derrick returns to form within, say, five games, he'll be well ahead of how long it might have taken last season. I think this story is still being written - how SHOULD NBA athletes return from ACL surgery? Especially when they are the Superstar that their team is built around. We're seeing how incredibly disruptive it is to the team to rediscover themselves. And as usual, pre-season didn't count... But if it takes another month to six weeks, then perhaps nothing WAS gained by delaying his come-back - except making sure he didn't re-injure the knee. Again, rules AND customs are different for the handful of genuine Superstars in the league, as they should be...

  • In reply to petert23:

    Pretty shure that Iman Shumpert is not a muslim cleric of any sort(i.e. an imam)

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Oops! Ha ha my bad... but you get my point. Maybe I should have mentioned Rick Rubio. How many games did it take a point guard to get back his skill level on an early return, vs DRose and a slower return? And Rubio isn't the focus of the entire offense...

  • Of course Bulls management doesn't want to win.

    What bothers me the most with D-rOse is that he keeps saying that he doesnt want to recruit whereas his brothers keeps saying Rose doesnt like this Rose.

    If he really want a ring, go and threat the front office : Bring me a star or I'm leaving. it's plain an simple.

  • Rose is not the problem

    Comparing our salary to Heat salary, you can see an easy recognizable problem. We overpay our role players.
    Boozer 15mil, Deng 14 mil, Noah 12 mil, Gibson 7 mil

    On the other hand, after their 3 stars. The highest paid players on the Heat team is Haslem 4 mil.

    Until we can somehow turn 2 of those players I listed above into a star, we will likely always struggle in the playoff and has little flexibility

  • In reply to handushk:

    It's true. Essentially, superstars are grossly underpaid.

  • I think the "must get a second superstar scorer" stuff is getting out of control. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see a true superstar alongside Rose and think that would give the Bulls the best chance at a title. But would you really say that Oklahoma City is closer to a title than the Bulls because they have two superstars? Who was the second superstar on the Mavericks? Who was their second scorer, Jason Terry?

    I think what most people mean when they say the Bulls need a second superstar, is that they want the Bulls to upgrade either Deng or Boozer to a superstar, while also keeping the other 4 solid starters, while also having a solid bench. I don't think it works that way in the current NBA unless you have players willing to take pay cuts for a chance to win, like you see going on in Miami in an unusual occurrence that developed after 3 superstar players got together in the Olympics and decided it was too hard to win a championship the old fashioned way.

    I think our expectations are based more on the Jordan Bulls or Lebron Heat than the realities of the current CBA. Superstars surrounded by other superstars isn't how it goes anymore. You can either get a superstar surrounded by good players or maybe two superstars with mediocre players. You'd never beat the Jordan Bulls or Magic-Kareem Lakers, but you could still win a title in the current NBA.

  • In reply to Roman F:

    Maybe our second (superstar)scorer is just one year away.

    Nikola Mirotic has been named Euroleague MVP for the month of October. Mirotic helped lead Real Madrid to a 3-0 record while averaging 16.3 points per game on 71.4 percent two-point shooting, 85.7 percent from three and 91.7 percent from the free throw line. Mirotic also averaged 6.3 rebounds, 1.7 steals and 1 block per game. Mirotic's per-minute index rating was 48.14, which is 30 percent higher than the full-season record average of 37.21 by Arvydas Sabonis. RealGM - See more at: http://hoopshype.com/rumors.htm#sthash.sdPoOrEc.dpuf

    It certainly looks like this guy can shoot with incredible efficiency from just about anywhere on the court, something that no one on the current Bulls roster is capable of.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Wow, he sounds pretty awesome. He doesn't need to be a superstar so long as he's a really good offensive player, like better than anyone on the team besides Rose, which it sounds like he will be. The way this season has started, it looks like the Bulls' best bet is to reload with Mirotic, but there's still a long season to go.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    That is a .932 TS%.

  • IMO, next season Deng is let go, Mirotic signs, and Boozer stays as Bulls will not amnesty Boozer to be active in free agency. Not saying its what I prefer, I'm saying that's what I think Bulls will do. I don't think they will eat Boozer's salary.

  • In reply to Edward:

    The only reason that we have hope about dumping boozer, is that if we don't we will be in the tax for the third consecutive season which I believe makes the repeater tax kick in which makes every dollar over the tax cost 3,4 or even 5 dollars depending on the level over. And the Bulls could then spread his $16.8 million salary over 3 seasons, costing "only" $5.6 million per in cash.

    The Bulls basically need to stay out of the tax over both of the next 2 years to avoid the repeater. Can they do that and still bring over Mirotic. It seems likely that the only way is to dump Deng, Hinrich and Boozer. You may ultimately be right, but the tax numbers just seem be too overwhelming. Doing so, will also set us up nicely for doug's 2016(Kevin Durant)plan.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    Unless the Bulls can get a guy who will bring them a ring, they definitely should avoid the repeater tax! So Deng is gone for sure, and Boozer is a strong possibility.

    Handushk nailed a problem: Overpaying for role players:
    Boozer 15mil, Deng 14 mil, Noah 12 mil, Gibson 7 mil. I would not consider these all to be role players, but the fact remains - if you overpay for 2nd tier players, you will not have enough for top tier players! Basic math!

    It does not look like the Bulls will get the Charlotte pick next summer, but that pick is becoming more and more valuable. Next year it might be enough, with Noah and a piece, to get Aldridge.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    From what I've read, a team becomes eligible for the repeater tax the following yearif they paid luxury tax in 3 of the previous 4 seasons - BUT, they have to exceed the tax line that following year to actually pay repeater tax.

    So if Bulls pay luxury tax in three consecutive seasons (2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15) they become eligible, but only pay the repeater if they exceed the tax line the following year (2015-16).

    So Bulls could pay luxury tax for a 3rd consecutive year (Boozer's final contract year 2014-15) and avoid any repeater penalty the next year by being under the luxury tax line, which Boozer's contract coming off-the-books would accomplish.

    With Deng and Hinrich off-the-books in 2014-15, Bulls have about $65.5 million committed to 9 players (including their 2014 1st round draft pick). The luxury tax line will be about $72.5 million. With 4 roster spots to fill, Bulls will likely pay luxury tax for a 3rd consecutive year in 2014-15 even without Mirotic, but certainly with Mirotic. But Bulls will avoid any repeater tax when Boozer's contract comes off-the-books for 2015-16 which would put Bulls under the luxury tax.

    Not saying keeping Boozer is my preference, but doesn't this analysis sound like the Bulls' accountants crunching numbers? And, imo, I think Bulls will not amnesty Boozer. Repeater tax won't enter into the equation.

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