Hello Bulls fans! With the draft kicking off tomorrow night and free agency beginning in July we have found ourselves right in the middle of NBA Rumor-Palooza. With new reports surfacing every day of players the Bulls may be interested in pursuing via the draft, free agency and/or trade, I thought it would be useful to provide a review of the Bulls current assets. To break this down Pippen Ain’t Easy will do this with the NBA Draft 2014 Chicago Bulls Asset Review. It’s a personal guide for the Pippen Peoples to use to navigate through a night that is exciting and completely unknown.
Below is a list, in no particular order, of the current assets held by the Chicago Bulls and their potential value around the league.
The Bulls own the rights to Nikola Mirotic, the top player in Europe, meaning we are currently the only team eligible to sign him. Despite being one of the best players in the world currently not playing in the NBA, Mirotic’s value as a trade piece varies drastically from team to team. Owning Mirotic’s rights is no guarantee he’ll play for you, if Mirotic were to be traded to a team he’s uninterested in playing for he could simply decide to stay in Europe. This is why Mirotic holds more value to the Bulls (a team he’s willing to come over for) then he would to a team in a potential trade.
The Bulls own a number of current and future draft picks that I will quickly highlight:
2014 Draft Pick #16: Acquired from Charlotte in the Tyrus Thomas trade.
2014 Draft Pick #19: Our own first round pick
2014 Draft Pick #49: Our own second round pick
Future Sacramento Pick: Top 10 protected through 2017. If the Kings continue to be terrible (there is a chance of that) the pick becomes a 2nd rounder in 2017.
2015 Pick Swap with Cleveland: Chicago has the ability to swap picks with Cleveland next year if, and only if, the Cleveland pick is 15 or higher. The Cavs would have to make the playoffs in this scenario.
2015 & 2016 Second Round Picks from Portland: Chicago owns both of Portland’s second round picks in 2015 and 2016.
The good news here is that while we are owed several picks from other teams, we do not currently owe anyone any future draft considerations. So in addition to these picks above Chicago also owns all of their own first and second round selections.
At the end of last season the Bulls signed Ronnie Brewer, Mike James and Lou Admunson to contracts that are fully unguaranteed in 2014. According to shamsports.com (imo the best resource for NBA contract information) the contracts are worth:
Ronnie Brewer: $1,310,286
Lou Admundson: $1,310,286
Mike James: $1,448,490
This gives the Bulls around $4 million dollars they can send to another team for a player that could immediately be removed from the receiving team’s cap. This is valuable to teams looking to cut cost and valuable to the Bulls if they need extra money going out to match a high-priced incoming player’s salary (::cough::CARMELO::cough::).
Since the new CBA was put in place expiring contracts have held considerably less value, especially large expiring contracts like Carlos Boozer’s. With teams signing players to shorter deals for less money, the willingness to take on a large expiring is practically gone. Still, I wanted to make this list comprehensive so here are the Bulls two expiring contracts:
Carlos Boozer: $16,800,000, Boozer has little to no value to teams around the league at a contract this size.
Mike Dunleavey: $3,326,235, unlike Boozer, Dunleavey does hold some value. His contract is manageable and his primary skill, shooting, is always in need around the league.
The Bulls only have two players on their roster that are currently on a rookie contract. Jimmy Butler has built up an impressive reputation as one of the league’s top wing defenders and holds considerable value around the league.
Tony Snell, the other Bulls player on a rookie deal, saw inconsistent minutes last season making his value more of a question mark. Snell does have youth on his side, a factor that all teams view as a positive.
The Amnesty Provision
This is really only valuable to the Bulls as we’re the only one capable of using it. If we were to amnesty Boozer (and waive the unguaranteed contracts) it would open up around $11-12 million in cap space. The Bulls would be able to use this money to sign free agents or absorb salary in a trade. While we’d be on the hook financially for Boozer’s salary it opens up the cap space we would need to provide this team with better balance.
Over the next few weeks as the rumors continue to swirl and pick up, remember this list when thinking about what the Bulls have in terms of value. Be sure to put yourself in another team’s shoes before thinking you’ve found the perfect trade, does it make sense for them? Would you be happy if you were a fan of that team?
This is what the Bulls have to offer teams. Any deals would likely include the above players and/or assets.
As always, Pippen Ain’t Easy will be here to cover the madness as it unfolds. Check in with us for the latest rumors and insights into what’s happening around the league. We hope you have learned something from the NBA Draft 2014 Chicago Bulls Asset Review. Now enjoy the NBA Draft!