First of all, this shouldn’t really even be news. But in this mess of an off-season, the Bulls have managed to make big news out of every time they spend a few dollars. Sorry, spend was the wrong word. “Save” is what I meant to say.
About two weeks ago, Marquis Teague became the only first round draft pick in this year’s draft to have not signed a rookie contract. Sources say that he has now inked his new deal and is on his way to Chicago. This is what he had to say, via KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune:
It feels good to finally get it out of the way, I just want to get in the gym and start working out.
Usually, when a first round pick remains un-signed for this long, it’s because the rookie’s franchise is looking to capitalize on its cap space and use its remaining money to sign another player or two. This wasn’t the case for the Bulls. They just wanted to get out of paying Teague the full 120% of his first-year salary, an uncommon practice.
Anyways, the Bulls did manage to get Teague to sign for just 100% of his contract, which is something that 98% of first-round picks have never been asked to do. Congratulations Jerry Reinsdorf, you saved a total of $874,550 over the next four years. Or in other words, less than a one-year veterans minimum deal. This is the kind of thing that Mark Cuban and Jerry Buss would probably joke about when the owners get together during the all-star break.
Despite the Bulls steadfast approach to being cheap this off-season, they’re slotted to be paying the luxury tax next season with the additions of Kirk Hinrich and Marco Belinelli taking their toll. However, don’t be surprised if Chicago finds a way to get under the 70 million dollar threshold before next March. Remember, they are indeed, the reigning financial champs!