[This will be the first in a series -yfbb]
The Bulls' offseason will be a little complicated, as they'll have to navigate being over the salary cap. Before entering the free agent period in July, the organization will have to decide how to use exemptions, decide which options to pick up, which to free off the books at what price, and whether or not it's advantageous to enter luxury tax territory.
It's most important before looking at these changes -- realistic, idealistic, hare-brained, potential, etc. -- to examine, the status quo of the books.
All contract and salary details are according to ShamSports.com as of January 5, 2012. I added Mike James to the list to make it current. The totals include team options and qualifying offers. This spreadsheet is publicly viewable here.
Fully guaranteed for 2012-13 - over $63m: Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng, Joakim Noah, Richard Hamilton, Taj Gibson, Jimmy Butler
- Boozer, Deng, Noah, and Gibson are eligible for Amnesty.
Team Options for 2012-13: Kyle Korver, Ronnie Brewer, C.J. Watson
- The Bulls have until July 10, 2012 to exercise these options or waive these players. Korver is guaranteed $500,000 for 2013. [These are technically not 'team options', they're partially guaranteed contract years. By my knowledge the only difference is when they can be waived, and 'team option' is easier to say. Also, they can be traded and waived by their new team before that date. -yfbb]
- Hamilton is guaranteed $1 million for 2014.
- We'll be going over this in a separate post, but for speculation of a 2012-13 cap calculation, assume that the Bulls will be asked to match a contract with a first year of $5m for the upcoming season. -yfbb
2012-13 salary cap: at a minimum of the $58.044 cap of 2011-12
- 44.74% of " projected Basketball Related Income" (BRI) -- then "subtracts projected benefits, and divides by the number of teams in the league". Since 2008, the cap hasn't fluctuated more than $1 million each season. All five guaranteed Bulls starters alone put the Bulls over the cap.
2012-13 luxury tax level: $70.307 million in 2011-12
- $53.51% of projected BRI. The tax level isn't expected to change much for 2012-13.