A few scheduling notes have leaked out.
Per KC Johnson’s twitter, the Bulls appear to be opening against the Thunder. Tough game, especially on the road, to open the season. If they win, you’ll have to feel real good, but tough game to win.
The Bulls also get a Christmas team squaring off against the Knicks per a FSN New York twitter. I’d be amped for that game except that I’m unlikely to sit and watch basketball on Christmas as I’m too busy running around with my kids.
Still, i love the idea of a high honor game going to a Bulls/Knicks matchup.
Finally, Shamsports has all of the Bulls salaries up on their database now. I tweeted about it last night only to get a bunch of responses asking what the heck the Bulls were doing with Boozer’s contract.
Answer? I have no idea. The Bulls aren’t in any threat of paying the luxury tax next season, nor are they threatening to fall under the salary cap by enough to use any cap space. Thus the decision to minimize the value in that year is simply strange.
I would wager a guess that if the Bulls knew how the off-season would go after signing Boozer that they would have heavily front loaded his whole deal in order to take money out of years 3-5 where the luxury tax is likely to become an issue. However, if they had landed JJ Redick then they would have wanted the deal more backloaded in order to save room to finish off the roster this season.
You could say the front-loaded money is put in as a hedge, but a hedge against what? They didn’t save themselves any long term tax consequences by structuring the deal to lower in year two, and there’s no practical value to the Bulls in saving the extra million and a half next year while there is for having it this year. I suppose it could have been done as a favor to Boozer, but it’s hard to imagine how the little extra money up front was a big sticking point in negotiations.
I just chalk it up to interesting, maybe Mark has come up with a better explanation than myself.