[UPDATE by your friendly BullsBlogger, 08/07/12 7:23 PM CDT: As pointed out by the indomitable Mark Deeks, while this isn't enough room to sign a veteran to the minimum, it is enough to sign first or second-year players to their minimum possible figure. It was previously stated here that signing such players wouldn't be counted as any less than a veteran minimum, but: per Deeks, that detail is only for calculating the luxury tax. This means...signing Malcolm Thomas is technically possible! ] ...maybe nevermind all that. Mark indicated below in the comments he was mistaken. Dominated!
Our (long?) nightmare is over. Marquis Teague was the only first round pick still unsigned, but he has reportedly just signed his rookie deal with the Bulls. The Financial Champs score another important victory:
Teague ultimately signed a deal for 100 percent of his slotted salary in the first year, or $857,000, sources said. The following years are expected to be at the 120 percent slotted salary.
The Bulls will now have 13 players under contract. However, with just $758,550 under the hard-cap figure, they do not have enough money to sign a player to the veteran's minimum of $857,000. The Bulls will be paying the luxury tax for the first time in franchise history.
(I don't know why KC Johnson has such little faith the Bulls can't still get below that tax threshold before the end of the season.)
So, the Bulls win the negotiation, and save some cash. As reported, the Bulls still don't have enough to sign another player, nor do they really create any flexibility going forward in future seasons.