Draft Picks Coming: 2014 first round (Charlotte, protected 1-10); 2014 first round (Sacramento, 1-12); 2015 first round (Miami, 1-10; Cleveland, 1-14, right to switch); 2015 second round (Portland); 2016 second round (Portland)
Draft Picks Going: None
Trade Exceptions: None
Over/Under: Over the cap, under the tax
Amnesty Provision: Available
Stretch Provision: Used on Richard Hamilton
Player Option Team Option Qualifying Offer
For the second straight season, the Bulls were projected to be a tax-paying team. And for the second straight season, they were without Derrick Rose for an extended stretch. So they decided to change their finances.
After Rose went down, the Bulls traded impending free agent Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers for the dumpable contract of Andrew Bynum and three draft picks, including one in the first round. The trade allowed the Bulls to get under the luxury tax threshold, which has impacted their ability to fill out their bench the last two seasons.
Two years ago, the “Bench Mob” included Omer Asik, Kyle Korver, C.J. Watson and Ronnie Brewer. All were let go last summer and replaced by the likes of Richard Hamilton, Marco Belinelli, Nate Robinson and Nazr Mohammed.
Mohammed is back on a one-year veteran’s minimum deal. But Hamilton was waived – saving $4 million – and Belinelli and Robinson are gone in search of more money in multiyear deals.
The Bulls did use their taxpayer exception smartly on Mike Dunleavy, who will provide some outside shooting and veteran savvy.
One way to create some flexibility would have been to use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer, which would save $32 million against the cap and tax over the next two years and activate the mid-level and bi-annual exceptions. However, owner Jerry Reinsdorf was reluctant to take on that much dead money, especially with the rights to Nikola Mirotic and a likely lottery pick from Charlotte coming.