Well the Chicago Bulls 2012 season is done and we can all do one of two things. We can all wallow in our own sea of sorrow or we can look ahead to the future and see what changes can be made.
The trouble with looking ahead is the money. Chicago is currently projected to be over the NBA’s salary cap and therefore would have no money to spend this offseason. But that doesn’t mean Gar Forman can’t maneuver his way out of a few contracts in order to have some cash to make a play at a shooting guard or possibly add another point guard.
Of course the obvious salary dump would be to amnesty Carlos Boozer. But that’s a highly unlikely scenario. If the Bulls waived Boozer and a team picked him up off the wire, then Chicago would have to pay the majority of his salary.
Even though Boozer would give the Bulls cap space, as an amnestied player no longer counts against you even though you’re still paying his contract, the Bulls won’t want to pay that much money for someone they won’t have.
Ronnie Brewer and C.J. Watson have contracts for next season but they can terminated to save money. If the Bulls do not waive Brewer or Watson by July 10th then whoever is still here will have the last year of their deals guaranteed. If they both stay, then $7.5 million is on the books for 2012-13.
Kyle Korver is under contract as well for $5 million but only $500,000 of that is guaranteed to him.
So by waiving the these guys Chicago then has that to offer a free agent in either a massive one year deal or a moderately priced two year deal with perhaps an option at the end.
This is the kind of money the Bulls would need to corral a free agent. They aren’t going to be doling out any more $60 million deals. If the Bulls make any plays in free agency it will be like the type of deal they gave Rip Hamilton this last offseason.
Having $7.5 million would be enough to offer Steve Nash or Kirk Hinrich a contract.
Keep in mind though that Nash got just over $11 million this last season from Phoenix and Hinrich is receiving $8 million from Atlanta. Both players are at the top of their position pool this fee agency and teams may have more money then the Bulls to bring them in.
One team that could give the Bulls problems with Steve Nash is the Minnesota Timberwolves. Last year David Kahn wanted to trade the No. 2 overall pick for Nash so he could tutor Ricky Rubio. The Wolves have cap space to play with and if Kahn wants Nash now all he has to give up is some cash.
The only issue with this is the Wolves would have four point guards on roster in 2013 but with Rubio out until mid-season, Minnesota can run a potent system with Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea.
The favorite landing spot for Nash if you ask ESPN is Miami. The Heat don’t have the cash to play around with but they can maneuver their way into getting money and they have the ultimate one up: LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and a serious shot at the all elusive title. If the Bulls want Nash their selling point is filling in for Rose while he’s out and then playing behind him.
Nash may favor a place where he is guaranteed to start all season long rather then play interim point guard and then get cast to the bench. But the way the Bulls have changed the way the bench is used and have modified it’s importance may lessen the insult of playing off of it for Nash.
Kirk Hinrich is a totally different story. While Nash may command a higher then worth salary this year because of who he is, Hinrich might do the same based on his age and his performance in the playoffs. NBA owners have notoriously been near sighted and tend to weigh not remember anything beyond what has just happened. In addition to that, Hinrich isn’t a bad shooting guard and he double as a point guard as well.
The Bulls would be able to use Captain Kirk both as a point guard while Rose is out and then as a shooting guard when he comes back. Chicago may also want to just play Hinrich at shooting guard but the problem is if the Bulls get the money to sign Hinrich they’d have to have cut C.J. Watson and with Rose out indefinitely, Chicago would have no point guards on roster.
Gar Forman certainly has his offseason booked full. Before the free agency talk can even begin we have to already start thinking about the draft which is another place the Bulls can grab a shooting guard and a back up point guard. Chicago may be strapped for cash but they have options to work with.
The offseason will certainly be as eventful as the regular season. But here the risk of injury is limited to mental errors.