We've all been going crazy wondering about possible amnesty targets that the Bulls can try to get, but the article above outlines why that may just be a fantasy. No GM or owner wants to pay a guy more than $20 million to help somebody else's team, and for most teams, using amnesty will not do much to improve their situation. Plus, the ability to waive in future years makes it more likely a GM will try to trade a player or see if he improves, before cutting him in a future year when there is less dead money at stake. If there are truly only 6 players that are waived this season, it stands to reason that those will be the absolute worst situations such as Arenas, Luke Walton, and Rashard Lewis. Anyone useful that is actually released, like Brandon Roy, will be snapped up by a team that is under the cap like Washington or Sacramento.
If you rule out waiver cuts, the only other ways to acquire a shooting guard are trades, restricted free agents, and unrestricted free agents.
Trades: I do not believe that the Bulls are any more willing to give up Taj Gibson or Omer Asik this offseason than they were at the trade deadline last year. It's also doubtful that Memphis or Houston will be willing to give up OJ or Courtney Lee without getting one of those two. Houston currently has no centers on their roster other than Hasheem Thabeet and possibly Jordan Hill. Once Memphis resigns Marc Gasol to big money, they'll have no significant big man depth behind him and Randolph. One thing I find interesting about the new CBA is that a player can be "amnestied" at any point as long as it's by his original team, and the contract is already in existence. That means that the Bulls now have a way to sign both Taj and Asik to market contracts, that doesn't send them deep into the luxury tax. In 2 or 3 years, they can waive Boozer while bringing Mirotic over.
Restricted free agents: By "restricted free agents", I mean "Arron Afflalo". He's a pipe dream. Not only is he the Nuggets' best shooting guard, he's their only one right now after JR Smith and Wilson Chandler went to China. The Nuggets will match the Bulls best offer of the midlevel exception, if only to stay above the minimum payroll requirements. There's Marcus Thornton too, I suppose, but Sacramento will also match and are far under the minimum payroll right now.
Unrestricted free agents: Now we're back to where we've been since the end of last year. Choosing from a bunch of past-their-prime free agents who are willing to take a small short-term salary in order to chase a ring. They all have much-discussed weaknesses, in contrast to the dubious achievement of being better than Keith Bogans. The analysis that i've done so far is pretty straightforward stuff. Assuming that nothing's changed in their priorities, we should expect that the Bulls front office has been mostly concentrating on free agents since the season ended.
Steven A Smith might be correct about the Bulls already locking in on Tracy McGrady. Seeing how he predicted this 6 days ago, at the same time he said the lockout would end soon, you have to take him seriously. We already know he wants to come here and will play for the minimum. I had near-courtside seats to the Detroit game last year, and I will say that rumors of Tracy's inability to play have been greatly exaggerated (youtube video of detroit days). I was actually most surprised by his defensive effort, as he stayed in front of Rose on switches. Here's a bonus clip of him in the 4th quarter against the Bulls, where the Bulls couldn't stop him as he scored 15 in the 4th to erase a double digit lead. Tracy probably creates his own shot, dribbles, and passes better than anyone on this list. He fits the number one need of being able to take advantage of the situation when teams double Rose hard on the perimeter. Detroit started him at PG last year against San Antonio, and he had 15 points on 11 shots, 9 assists, and 7 rebounds with only 2 turnovers. His previous game he had 12 assists and 3 turnovers.
I'm probably just talking myself into him, but when the other possible free agents are Vince Carter, Jason Richardson, Jamal Crawford, Von Wafer, Delonte West, Anthony Parker, Caron Butler, DeShawn Stevenson, Mike Dunleavy, Shannon Brown, Michael Redd, Roger Mason, Marquis Daniels, and Josh Howard, that's not hard to do.
What does everyone think the Bulls will actually do? I've approached this as far as what's likely. Does anyone see a trade target that the Bulls will feel is so much better than the free agents, that they're willing to give up big man depth? Is there a free agent that that's a better fit when you include role, money, and skills?