The whole league has been turning upside-down in preparation for the trade deadline, a monster 2019 free agency class, and the impending destination of Anthony Davis.
But the Bulls aren’t in the top division of the NBA. There are much smaller moves to still be made and cash to grab.
First reported by Shams Charania, the Bulls are acquiring Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot from the Thunder. Chicago has a full roster at the moment, so they’ll have to trade or waive someone for this move to be made official. And yes they still have Carmelo Anthony on the roster from their last cash considerations trade, so it’s very likely just going to be a release of Anthony.
Like those moves with Houston earlier this year, this is all to reduce an actual competitive franchise’s luxury tax bill.
Oklahoma City will save $7.3M towards the luxury tax with the trade of Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot trade to Chicago. Chicago is responsible for $594K of the remaining contract of TLC. They will lose (along with the other 21 teams below) $166K in tax reimbursement that will be made up in the cash they receive from OKC.
The max Chicago could receive in a trade was $2.6M.
For you all who care about trade wonkiness - and given that the Bulls haven’t made a team-improving trade in ten damned years, that’s all we have - this was possible by the Bulls using a traded player exception generated by the Justin Holiday deal to Memphis last month.
But like that Memphis trade where they got a look at Wayne Selden, perhaps ‘TLC’ can get an extended look for the rest of the year. He plays on the wing where the Bulls are especially desperate for healthy bodies at the moment.
Drafted out of France with the 24th pick in 2016 and moved from the Sixers to the Thunder prior to this season, TLC hasn’t found footing the NBA so far. He’s turning 24 in May and as he did not have his rookie-scale options picked up will be an unrestricted free agent (unlike Selden, who’s restricted) this summer.
So this may be more of the variety of the deal for Noah Vonleh last trade deadline when the Bulls got the cash but not much in terms of a player tryout. Or they cut him immediately to free up a spot for more money moves before the deadline in 6 days. For what it’s worth, KC Johnson says the Bulls will hold on to him.