Kevin Love trade talks are still supposedly ongoing in Chicago, but the majority of the leg work is done for the Bulls this offseason. Carlos Boozer is mercifully gone via amnesty, and the resulting cap room and exception was used on Pau Gasol, Nikola Mirotic and Kirk Hinrich. Barring a trade for Love, which would remain a massive surprise, the Bulls will fill out the rest of the roster with a few more minimums and go into the next season with a team much deeper than the past couple years.
With the Bulls new (and not new in terms of Captain Grit) acquisitions now signed, sealed and delivered, the great Mark Deeks over at ShamSports.com has the details on these new deals. And as a brief aside before diving into this, I urge you to read Grantland's profile on Deeks. Pretty cool story.
Anyway, here's a quick look at the Bulls' new deals.
Gasol signed a three-year deal worth $22,346,280, with the first year of the contract worth $7.128 million. The third year of the deal is a player option, and the contract has a 15 percent trade kicker.
While I wasn't crazy about the Bulls making Gasol such a priority given the strength of the frontcourt, there should be little doubt that the value here is pretty good. I'm worried about the injuries/decline, but even if things don't work out for Gasol, at least it's not a true albatross of a contract like Boozer. And if things do work out, this deal looks even better.
We debated forever on this site what it would take to get Mirotic over here. Some thought MLE. Some thought maybe it would take something like $7-8 million annually. As time went on, there was some hope he could be had for $3-4 million annually. Ultimately, the Bulls basically gave Mirotic an MLE deal, although they used cap space to sign him.
Mirotic signed a three-year contract worth $16,631,175, with the first year of the deal worth $5.305 million (the first-year value of the full MLE). The deal is fully guaranteed, has a 15 percent trade kicker and makes Mirotic the highest paid European rookie in NBA history. There's also $2.385 million worth of contract incentives over the life of the deal that are currently listed as "unlikely."
Considering the discussions we've had, it's tough to complain one bit about this contract. An MLE-type deal this offseason always seemed somewhat reasonable given his talent and buyout, so this feels perfectly fair.
Hinrich signed a two-year deal worth $5,586,940, also known as the full value of the room exception. The first year of the deal is worth $2.732 million, and the second year is a player option. Then there's this from Deeks:
Because Hinrich signed a one year contract and will have full Bird rights at the end of it, he has the right to veto any trade he is in. The option year does not count until it is invoked, and the fact that Hinrich was renounced prior to signing also does not matter. Renouncements prevent teams from re-signing players using Bird rights, but it does not reset or remove their allegorical Bird clock, which is picked back up again upon re-signing.
OF COURSE Kirk can veto any deal he's in. But who are we kidding ... he's not going anywhere.
I expected Hinrich to be back, but I was really hoping it would be at the minimum. Apparently some other teams really love him though, so the Bulls had to use that room exception. I guess it's okay, but I truly do fear Tom Thibodeau consistently using Hinrich at the end of games. Just please spare us that.
Oh, this contract also contains a 15 percent trade kicker.
McDermott signed to 120 percent of the rookie scale for this season. That means he'll make $2,277,960 in the first year of his deal. As always, the third and fourth years of the contract are team options, and his qualifying offer in that fifth year is $4,510,847.
Brooks signed a straight up one-year minimum contract. As a six-year veteran, he'll get paid $1,145,645, but the team is only responsible for $915,243 of that because he signed a one-year deal. The league pays for the difference. Can't ask for much else at the minimum.
Bairstow signed a three-year, minimum salary deal. The first year is worth $507,336 and is fully guaranteed. The second year is $425,000 guaranteed with no guarantee date, while the third year is fully unguaranteed. That third year becomes guaranteed if not waived on or before July 25, 2016.
The Bulls currently have $65,569,132 in committed salary* for 2014-15. Of course, that puts them nowhere near the tax, so if they want to swing deals, there's plenty of flexibility to do that and not have to worry about the tax. There's also more flexibility as a non-taxpayer when it comes to making trades, so that's cool. And of course, when it comes to a potential Love trade, guys like Mirotic and McDermott can't be moved until a month after signing.
*[There's also, from an ownership perspective, the off-the-books ~$13.7m for Boozer]
The Bulls are mostly locked in for 2015-16 as well, with nearly $60 million in guaranteed money. That doesn't include a possible Jimmy Butler extension, a situation that will be fascinating to watch play out. We'll definitely be looking more at that as the offseason goes on.