Well if things had gone as a lot of people predicted, we would all be discussing how in the world the Chicago Bulls would get past the Indiana Pacers. The Legion of Booz would be in full effect screaming over Carlos Boozer and how much time he should be getting. Leroy Boyd and the Leroyalist Party would disagree screaming about Boozer’s bad defense. Ah the good days. Now that the Bulls are out of the playoffs, we have to look forward and see what assets the Chicago Bulls have on their roster and what they need to do going forward. Pippen Ain’t Easy went in-depth with the possible scenarios that could play out with the possibility of Carmelo Anthony in a Chicago Bulls uniform. It was a fun game to play but I think we all know that it is HIGHLY UNLIKELY that he will leave New York. I’m saying that even before Steve Kerr turned down the job and went to Golden State. With all of that out-of-the-way. Let’s all play IRS with Pippen Ain’t Easy and audit the Chicago Bulls roster shall we Pippen Peoples!
Going into this exercise, let’s make one thing perfectly clear. This IS NOT based on economics and the salary cap. We all know Jerry Reinsdorf is not going to spend one thin dime on the luxury tax. This is based on the talent of the player and if they can realistically help the Bulls going further. We will take care of the players that are under contract. Ready? Let’s begin.
1) Derrick Rose
Next year’s salary: $18,862,876
Total salary remaining: three years, $60,279,192
Remember when Derrick was a no brainer for a max deal? Two knee surgeries in three years later it is starting to look as bad as J.R. Smith’s clown contract in New York. Why do I say that? Because it is considered the WORST contract in the NBA. This is not an indictment on D-Rose because he has had horrible luck health wise. However, he’s still getting a check and he is not playing. If you want to go deeper, the Chicago Bulls is paying a ghost. This high dollar contract was paid to an MVP Derrick Rose. Now we are all waiting next year to see what kind of Derrick Rose we are going to get. Bulls management is putting all of their eggs in one basket gambling that Rose fully recovers. They really have no choice considering they still owe the man a ton of money. Whether his knees hold up or not, the Bulls have to change their strategy going forward. They have to build a team WITH him as opposed to AROUND him. There is a big difference.
2) Joakim Noah
Next year’s salary: $12,200,000
Total salary remaining: two years, $25,600,000
*If Joakim Noah is voted to the All-NBA First Team, $500,000 will be added to next year’s salary cap*
He’s the Defensive Player of the Year. He was in the MVP conversation for two weeks. He was definitely the Bulls MVP this past season. Joakim Noah has now for the moment taken over as the face of the Chicago Bulls. Noah basically put everyone in the Bulls locker room in the mind frame that despite Derrick Rose going down for the season…again and Luol Deng being traded, the Chicago Bulls were not going to tank this season. He could have easily disrupted the franchise after Deng was traded, but he showed professionalism that took him to another level of respect throughout the league. Now as he turns 30, we all get to see how he rebounds from arthroscopic knee surgery.
3) Taj Gibson
Next year’s salary: $8,000,000
Total salary remaining: three years, $25,450,000
*If Taj Gibson is voted to the All-Defensive Second Team, 250,000 will be added to next year’s salary cap*
When Gibson got his contract, there were some snickering out there thinking that he was overpaid. Uh, no. I think we’ve all seen players that have gotten big contracts and regressed (Roy Hibbert should come to mind) but Taj Gibson put in the work and improved his game. When the season starts next year, Taj Gibson is the starting power forward. He has now considered as one of the better two-way power forwards in the league. Because of this, naturally there were rumors that he could be traded to clear cap space for Carmelo Anthony. Not happening folks. One reason is that the Bulls will not trade him and two Carmelo is not coming. Let it go.
4) Jimmy Butler
Next year’s salary: $2,008,748
2015-16 qualifying offer: $3,013,123
I’m calling the Illinois labor commission based the work load that this guy had to deal with last year. People forget that Butler had to deal with a turf toe injury. That didn’t stop Thibodeau from running this guy 41 minutes after Luol Deng got traded. Defensively, he was all the Bulls asked for a lot more. Too much more in my opinion. Offensively, he needs to get more efficient. Jimmy Butler shoots too many threes. Shooting less that 29% from the land of three is not a good look. Overall he shot less than 40%. He has to be more selective with his shots. It is asking a lot of yourself to run all over the floor chasing the opposing teams best player, playing the defensive schemes of playing the lanes and getting back in the Thibodeau scheme and taking such a beating in the process. Hopefully with a better bench next season will cut down on his minutes. Oh wait, Tom Thibodeau’s coaching, ice up Jimmy, ice up.
5) Tony Snell
Next year’s salary: $1.472,400
Total salary remaining: $1,535,880 team option in 2015-16.
$2,368,327 team option in 2016-17.
$3,393,813 team option in 2017-18.
Tony. This is Ronald Agers, Editor of Pippen Ain’t Easy, your best choice for Chicago Bulls news, previews and reviews. Let me give you some advice. You night want to get better. That means getting in the gym and working on your jump shot, endurance, ball handling skills etc. After watching you in the playoffs last year and seeing that the team has the option after next year on your future. I’d start saving my money or renting an apartment. Just sayin.
6) Carlos Boozer
Next year’s salary: 16,800,000 expiring contract.
The most polarizing player in Pippen Ain’t Easy history. I would have never realized how much attention this dude gets. Either you hate the guy or love him. No gray area. Statistically, this is his worst year as a pro. He didn’t get along with Thibodeau. He came up short in the final game of the first round series against the Wizards. I can honestly say that he made my job fun here working at this website.
With that being said and I wrote a piece saying this before. Carlos Boozer HAS to be amnestied,. For personal reasons, I actually hope he stays because it was fun going back and forth with our good friend to the website Leroy Boyd. The Legion of Booz was fun. But as an analyst, the Bulls need to rid themselves of Boozer this offseason. They could try to trade him but the odds of that happening and getting something of value will be as good as me having a 70’s afro with a pick hanging out the back.
This is a positive core of players going forward. Injuries will be a question. It doesn’t fare well for a team when the top two players of the franchise are dealing with knee issues. We all know for all parties involved that Carlos Boozer needs to go but the question is if Jerry Reinsdorf will play 16.8 million dollars just to see Boozer walk.