Gar Forman's team is on the floor

It seems to be that point in the NBA season where teams are figuring out what they have and don't like, and as a result the rumor mill has been re-charged, buoyed especially this season by more prominent out-of-work NBA vets than usual.

But the Bulls will do nothing. Not because of their usual impotence and lack of foresight, but because they very publicly backed themselves into a corner this past offseason, and it's actually best for their goals that they do nothing.

They do not want to go into the luxury tax this season. At about $1m under currently, they haven't so far even used that room for short-term fixes while some injuries added up, and they can't deal away long-term money for a shorter (yet more expensive) contract.

They also do not want to take on 2010 salary, to maximize possible cap room in the upcoming offseason. So they can't deal away an expiring contract for a long-term deal.

What they could do is strive for a deal that brings long-term savings while being cap-neutral for this season, but the catch there is that they can't have much of a talent downgrade, since they want to make the playoffs this season. And one of the plusses of this current roster is their continuity and much-exalted team chemistry.

It'd be very hard to find such a deal to satisfy what the Bulls are trying to do this season (tread. water.), at least for now. By the trade deadline, it's possible that a player of high caliber is available and the Bulls cash in their 2010 chips early through dealing expiring contracts (and likely incurring the luxury tax this season, ha!). Or that the Bulls playoff chances are cemented (hopefully on the 'good' side) to where they can risk a slight talent shakeup in order to get some long-term money off their books.

But for now, it'll be very quiet, and I can't really blame the Bulls for that. Well except the not paying the luxury tax for one season thing, that's pretty aggravating.

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