So, quite the weekend: Melo makes obvious choice obvious, Bulls rebound with acquisition of Pau Gasol, then made agreements with their 'own' free agents Nikola Mirotic and Kirk Hinrich. Another of their own, DJ Augustin, signed with the Pistons.
It leaves conflicting emotions of 'pretty good' but yet also: 'that's it for the 2014 plan?'
It appears it is, given the terms we've heard about these agreements.
Unless Bulls have salary-cap trick no can see right now, looks like they will be forced to amnesty Carlos Boozer by Wednesday's deadline— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 12, 2014
(can't lie, mostly embedded that because I liked the idea of the Bulls being 'tricky')
Nothing is signed, yet, so this is all still unofficial. But it's pretty much certain that there's no last-minute sign/trade coming (not to mention the difficulty in the Lakers holding off their signings to facilitate a Gasol trade), and that the Bulls will Amnesty Carlos Boozer, go under the cap, and make these signings with cap space and the room exception.
As for the terms, here's what we think we know, a lot courtesy of HoopsRumors.
- Pau Gasol's deal is for 3 years, and $22m+. Third year is a player option.
- Nikola Mirotic's deal is also for 3 years, and at $17m+
- Kirk Hinrich signed for the full 'room exception', with the second year being a player option (sigh).
- To free up cap room for these acquisitions, the non-guaranteed deals of James, Brewer, and Amundson will need to be waived.
- Greg Smith, who the Bulls signed near the end of last season, will be traded to the Mavericks. The difference between his guaranteed salary and the minimum cap hold is under $500k, but that is technically added cap space to give to Gasol and Mirotic.
KC Johnson reports that Anthony Randolph could be traded for more perimeter help, but with his salary being under $2m that probably wouldn't get you much, and would either require taking on longer-term salary or including an asset.
[UPDATE by your friendly BullsBlogger, 07/14/14 3:41 PM CDT: And here we go: Anthony Randolph has been dealt to the Orlando Magic, and we gave them 2 second-round picks for the trouble ]
Beyond that, the Bulls will only have the minimum salary exception at their disposal to fill out the roster. Making some assumptions (and thanks as always and ever to Mark Deeks), here's how the roster will likely look opening night, assuming that both Smith and Randolph will need to be dumped to give more money to Gasol and Mirotic.
The Bulls are far away from the tax in this scenario (crazy, right?) so they probably would sign more than the single vet minimum guy and have a 13-15 man roster for once.