The Chicago Bulls are in “advanced talks” with free agent guard Marco Belinelli and could sign him to the bi-annual exception as soon as this weekend.
If the Bulls go ahead and sign Belinelli, it means that they will not be able to match Omer Asik’s $25 million offer sheet from the Houston Rockets without going into the luxury tax.
Anyone following the Bulls even loosely this offseason know that Jerry Reinsdorf id deathly allergic to the luxury tax.
Belinelli would fill Kyle Korver’s shoes on the Bench Mob after the sharp shooter was shipped to Atlanta earlier last week. Belinelli had his best season of his career, averaging 11.8 points per game. The Bulls are looking forward to his ability to ball on the parameter, something Korver was able to do off the bench these past two seasons.
But the main thing to take away from this is if Belinelli is signed the the $1.9 million bi-annual exception, the pursuit of Asik is over and the Bulls would be conceding to the Rockets. With the contract of Kirk Hinrich about to be on the books as well, the Bulls would have a $74.3 million hard cap spending limit.
Teams that use their bi-annual exception are not allowed to go over the hard cap.
That means no Asik.
But the Bulls would be filling a roster spot with a pretty decent player who will be able to come in and produce. If signed, Belinelli might end up being the nest free agent signing the Bulls have made this whole offseason. And that sounds backhanded since his competition is Hinrich and Vladimir Radmanovic.
However with Belinelli coming off the bench, the Bulls might not be as god awful as previously feared.