I resent the implication from some corners in the (my) twitter-verse that NBA buyout season is silly and much ado about nothing. Well, of course it is, but it's the the last transaction fun we'll have until the summer!
And, as fans of an actual contending team, it does have some impact: not just for the Bulls but their future playoff rivals. Granted, these are players that teams are literally giving away, and we all know that 'Derrick Rose and the Chemistry-12' is an unbreakable unit, such that their innate bonds of camaraderie, character, and club fliers cannot be even cracked. But NBA rules dictate the Bulls do have to sign somebody to meet the minimum roster requirement (they had 14 days since trading away JJ).
Maybe they un-retire Adrian Griffin or Rick Brunson to not even dare disrupt the bench seating chart, but while there is doubt (and Gar warned us!) that anybody available would be of use to the present rotation, an emergency-PG and/or a give-Luol-some-rest-already-SF (playing on Monday night with the Bulls up 20 at the 2:00 mark another reminder) would be nice. And of course, once their signed, we can start talking ourselves into ways they can replace Bogans or Watson.
The waiver deadline is in 3 or so hours, and as a reminder: the only deadline is when the player is waived, not when he's signed. So while there may be a surprise name later, as of now we have some idea who's become available (must of whom have been been snagged by other teams). Meanwhile, it's been over 2 days since Ric Bucher first reported that Rasual Butler was 'planning' to be a Bull, and since we've heard nothing definite.
I'm guessing the Bulls are just waiting to see what else may shake free tonight, and then sign Butler and have KC tell us he was the guy the Bulls wanted all along. Until then, a quick rundown of what's transpired so far:
- Troy Murphy to Boston: In theory (wiping out this season) the best big available, and worth questioning whether the Bulls could've sacrificed big-man depth in a deadline deal and signed Murphy.
- Jared Jefferies and Derrick Brown to the Knicks: To make room, the Knicks waived Corey Brewer and Kelenna Azubuike, either could be interesting pickups, especially if Azubuike is healthy (and he likely isn't if he's waived for Derrick Brown). Could be a potential situation where they're picked up with the intention of having a head start on their roster spot for next season, though there reportedly was zero interest in Brewer at the trade deadline.
- Mike Bibby to the Heat: Carlos Arroyo was waived to make room, and he did make nearly 44% of his (nearly all wide-open) 3-pointers this season...
- Al Thornton to Golden State: not that he's any goo,d but I'll say that technically the Bulls could just claim him off of waivers (he makes just under the ~$2.9m the Bulls are under the cap), as they could with Arroyo (or Brown if the Knicks hadn't)
- TJ Ford was an interesting name, but he (and a less interesting name in Jason Kapono) are reportedly staying put. As is, more notably, Rip Hamilton.
- There's always the D-League. As I've said, I think it's less likely a player with limited experience gets minutes at all in the Bulls current situation (and if there's a significant injury they're likely boned regardless) but it could help for practice (and, ahem, chemistry) if it was a young player hungry to stay in the league.