In its ‘Offseason Salary Cap Digest’ feature, HoopsRumors.com gives the lowdown on where the Chicago Bulls currently stand. Definitely click the link and visit the site, but in case you are too lazy I’ll summarize the main points here:
The Bulls currently have 2018-19 guaranteed salary obligations of ~$57.9 million, plus $3.5m in non-guaranteed deals (Kiplatrick and Zipser) and $6.8m in expected draft cap holds (this would go up if Bulls win the lottery). They also have a modest (relative to expected future salary) $9.6m cap hold for Zach Lavine and $1.7m for David Nwaba, with Noah Vonleh’s cap hold likely not being used as his $4.3m qualifying offer is quite high (though they picked up Cam Payne’s option last year, so who knows?).
Altogether they set a Projected Cap Space, making some assumptions, and wound up at $26,660,833
But as Bulls fans, we’re guarded in expecting the team to be aggressive. And there’s indeed a qualifier per writer of this piece Luke Adams.
Retaining Kilpatrick, Nwaba, and LaVine and keeping both their first-round picks would add up to 15 players, assuming the team doesn’t trade or release any of its 10 players with guaranteed contracts. Given their roster constraints and the fact that they’re still in the midst of a rebuild, the Bulls seem unlikely to be very aggressive in free agency.
Over at NBC Sports Network Chicago, Mark Schanowski also assumes the Bulls won’t be active players in free agency this summer. There of course is the possibility of taking on bad expiring money to gain an asset, and the Bulls will be one of the few teams with cap space to facilitate such a move.