Breaking news folks: the Bulls are trying to shed every single on tract that they can to stay under the luxury tax threshold.
STOP THE PRESSES!!
It’s honestly no surprise that the Bulls are as scared of the luxury tax as anorexics are of sandwiches, but at least anorexics get better with help. No sentence in the world would be tasty enough for Jerry Reinsdorf to take a bite out of his bank account and enter the luxury tax.
So news that the Bulls are trying to force Rip Hamilton onto someone else shouldn’t come at all as a surprise. According to K.C. Johnson over at the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls are actively calling up teams to see if they want to pay Hamilton a potential $10 million over the next two years so they don’t have to.
This move stems not only back to the Bulls not wanting to enter the luxury tax but to the Bulls wanting to match Omer Asik’s $25 million offer sheet he is expected to sign from the Rockets. Jeremy Lin is busy holding up that line as the Knicks have gone AWOL in an attempt to just avoid the inevitable.
Jerry Reinsdorf wishes he would have thought of that.
Hamilton was given a two year, $10 million contract last season — which seemed like a really good idea at the time. But then his body stopped working and it turned into a $5 million failure. Hamilton still has one year left plus an option for a third, all at $5 million a season.
Chicago doesn’t have to pick up his contract after this season but they aren’t concerned with that, they want money now.
If the Bulls could move Hamilton’s contract that would free up an extra $5 million that no one has been calculating into any of the Bulls offseason moves. The logic behind it makes a lot of sense too.
Priority numbero uno for the Bulls this offseason was to re-sign Omer Asik at all costs. Now that the cost is $25 million the Bulls are going to have to be tricky about making good on their word. But the killer part of the contract doesn’t kick in until the third year of the deal — that’s when Asik is set to make just over $15 million. The first two seasons are marginally over $5 million a piece.
So trading Hamilton means his $5 million would then be allotted to paying the first year of Asik’s deal. Chicago could then use the remaining money to sign four rookies to fill out the remaining roster spots and just barely go over the tax with the slim possibility that they could still get under it.
But under the new CBA, Derrick Rose may have gotten a $900,000 raise which means the Bulls will go over no matter what they end up doing after everything is said and done.
If trading Rip Hamilton and getting some coin to match Asik’s offer is what it takes to get Jerry Reinsdorf to start spending a little on free agents (like O.J. Mayo or Courtney Lee) then so be it.
The problem with this whole trading Rip to save $5 million is this: no one wants him — not even the Bulls.