Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Bulls Could Consider Waiving Nate Robinson Very Soon

When Marquis Teague was drafted, many people took a step back. It was expected that the Bulls would use the draft to try and find a shooting guard to run along side Derrick Rose at some point in the next few years, or at the very least take a combo-guard to fill in for Rose while he’s out, then take a bench role as the heir-apparent to the shooting guard position.

But ever since being drafted, he’s been growing on Bulls fans and Bulls brass alike, just like all other players to stroll through the Windy City that possess a considerable amount of talent.

Teague wasn’t drafted to be a lights out superstar that will threaten Rose’s rule as the face of the franchise, but he was drafted to be a key part of this team. That’s extremely good news for Teague, and based on his recent play it’s looking like a great move by the Bulls front office.

However, it’s not so good news for Nate Robinson.

This isn’t to say Robinson isn’t playing well. But when Derrick Rose comes back, the Bulls won’t be hot on the idea of carrying four point guards on roster when one is too short to be involved in any defensive rotations as a shooting guard. Robinson does give the Bulls rotational depth in terms of offense, but it makes too much sense to keep him. Remember the front office we’re dealing with here, a front office that didn’t earn a lot of faith this offseason.

When the Bulls signed Robinson near the end of the summer (a story that was buried by the Olympics), they signed him to a deal that didn’t kick in as fully guaranteed until January 10th. This wasn’t a coincidence, it was actually a calculated move by Gar Forman and John Paxson — are you surprised?

The idea was that if the Bulls are impressed with Nate Robinson, or in other words if they needed Robinson, they would keep him on board for the rest of the season. If Robinson slumped, or someone stepped up, the Bulls could cut Robinson loose and not have to pay a penalty for doing so.

This isn’t a basketball decision though, so don’t be fooled. Chicago is $3 million into the red, aka the Luxury Tax. The Bulls have never in the history of their existence paid a luxury tax and they’re really not tickled by the idea of spoiling that streak this year. Robinson signed a $1.14 million contract in August and his total cap hit is $854,389.

There’s no question that the Bulls would love to get that off the books.

If they can shed the $3 million before the end of the season, the Bulls will not have to pay the luxury tax. The rise of Marquis Teague is not only good news for Bulls fans, but it’s a lovely smoke screen for the front office to continue making “basketball decisions”.

Tags: Chicago Bulls Nate Robinson NBA

  • Kelly Scaletta

    Not buying the luxury tax argument. First, they don’t have to pay that much either way. Second, even if they let Nate go they still have to pay the tax. Third, if memory serves, part of the reason they signed him to a non-guaranteed contract is that they didn’t have the space to give him a guaranteed one. The hard cap is more of concern here than the luxury tax, which is going to be a pretty tiny hit even if they do have to pay it.

    • leroy boyd

      So true

  • leroy boyd

    This has to the wildest (consideration) move ever mention. Why woud the Bulls even think to get rid of Nate? Kirkis doing nothing on either end guards are toasting him like nver before and his offense is so weak he would not be a big time scorer in the Y league. The idea that Teague play has improved to the point to (consider) trdig Nte is so far off the reality chart Robinson has given the Bulls moreoffense than both Kirk and the rookie an to get rid of Nate would be the worst move of this adminstration. The person they should considered trading Kirk

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  • Juan E. Cruz Pellot

    It doesn’t make sense to waive Nate. He’s been a lot more productive than Kirk. There have been a lot of times when he’s driven me crazy with some bad decisions (i.e., trying to score in traffic while Marco Belinelli is open in one of the corners) but overall he’s played very well. Hinrich can’t score and his defense has not been that great to compensate for his lack of scoring. If they want to avoid paying the luxury tax, getting rid of Hinrich would make more sense. At least for me almost 4 millions per year (Hinrich) is a lot more money than 854K (Nate).

    Also, I’d buy Teague’s development as the reason for waiving Nate if Thibs had used him in Monday’s game on Memphis. Hinrich wasn’t playing well (what a surprise!) and Thibs didn’t use Marquis. Marquis cannot develop if he stays the whole game on the bench. So please, trade or waive Hinrich!

  • Brian Walton

    So waive the guy that has been playing more minutes and better than your starter…hmm? Hinrich has done all of what to keep him?Can’t shoot. Can’t stay healthy. And your argument is to get rid of the most consistent offensive weapon on the bench. You sir, should have your writing privileges revoked.

  • Brian Theisen

    this article is crap, plain and simple, i’ve tried to catch all the bulls games and the ones that i have seen, Nate’s been eating up the competition and SKIP DRIBBLING along the way, I love Kirk but it comes down to performance, i think the fans would agree that letting kirk go would be better

  • Don Ellis

    So much misinformation here… first of all, NBA teams are required to have 13 players on the roster, so if they cut Nate, they still have to sign someone else to replace him. So waiving Nate would be 100% a basketball decision…. 2nd, if they cut Hinrich, they’d still have to pay him the rest of his contract, PLUS pay another player to take his roster spot…… 3rd, if Hinrich sucks as bad as most people say he does, what team is going to want to trade for him? Though honestly, Kirk sucked big-time in November, but in 8 December games he’s shooting 47.1% on 3′s, and averaging 5.0 assists and only 1.4 turnovers, for an outstanding 3.6/1 ast/TO ratio…… Personally, I’d rather cut Nate and replace him with a big, defensive-minded backup center. Kirk gives you good defense (not great, but much better than Nate) and he rarely turns the ball over. I can live with Kirk starting and Teague backing him up until Rose gets back…… Belinelli can play a little PG in a pinch as well, and he has been very effective since moving into the starting lineup.