FanPost

GarPax repeated the Asik mistake with Felicio, and we need to talk about it

When Omer Asik came over, the Bulls signed him to two years, instead of three which would have given them Full Bird Rights. Instead, they settled for Early Bird Rights, which led to the whole Houston thing. Regardless of what anyone feels about Asik, it was a short-sighted decision then, just as it was a short-sighted decision now with Felicio, who was also signed to just two years.

The worst thing? This was so easily preventable. Add a third year which is fully non-guaranteed, and then just keep him if he justifies it. If he hadn't, cut him and cut the third year altogether. You'd have to pay slightly above the minimum because you can't sign a minimum contract for more than two years, but the difference would be minimal overall. Look for what Sam Hinkie did with Robert Covington in Philadelphia for example. When his deal expires in 2018, Covington would have been paid around $4.1 million for four years of service, with just a $50,000 guarantee for this year, giving Philly the possibility of cutting ties with him after two years, at a total cost of $2,050,000 - Essentially peanuts.

In today's economical climate of the NBA, it'd even make sense handing a young guy a four-year deal with team options for the final two years, much like a rookie deal, seeing as a deal at around a million a year would make that player cost effective more or less regardless of playing time. Think about it: You don't sign a youngster to not develop him. At such a low cost, it'd be foolish not to lock him up if you deem his potential worthwhile. At worst, you cut bait after two years, having given up around $2 million over two seasons.

(Felicio was signed as an undrafted rookie, earning the absolute minimum of $525K last year and $874K this year, so that number would have had to be upped for the above premise to work, but only slightly).

It's another area where GarPax seem to once again play catch-up to the rest of the league, and leaves me questioning whether they're at the forefront of any managerial aspect, outside of bringing in money to ownership, which has more to do about the brand of the Bulls more than anything, really.

And yes, the Bulls will likely end up matching whatever offer is thrown Felicio's way. But that's not the point. They could have had Felicio for cheap for potentially two more years, and at worst a third year. Theoretically, even if they had paid him $1.5 million annually from the get-go over four years, he'd still have been a cheap alternative, especially if they would have had an out after the second year anyway. At worst, that's a $3 million experiment over two years, with the possibility of paying just $6 million over four years.

For a team so focused on money, it's amazing how little creativity they have managing the cap.

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