Some Bulls work around the margins this weekend:
Chicago Bulls 2019 second round pick Daniel Gafford has made a heck of an impression early on in his Bulls career, as the Bulls signed him to a 4 year deal with 2 years guaranteed.
Of course, there’s probably no causation between the timing of this news and the fact that Gafford put up 21 points and 10 rebounds on 9-for-10 shooting in his Summer League debut on Saturday night. Even the Chicago Bulls front office wouldn’t make that premature of a decision, right?
(These are jokes, let’s give credit where credit is due as Gar Forman and John Paxson have actually had a pretty good offseason thus far. )
The Gafford signing is a version of ‘The Hinkie Special’ that the ex-Sixers GM was doing 5 years ago with 2nd round picks, as that leaves them unencumbered by the rookie scale. Our Twitter friend Ryan Borja broke down the cap ramifications of the deal:
Gafford pretty much got the minimum for four years. Bulls used cap space to give him 4 years instead of 2...the room exception or minimum exception only allows for 2yr deals.
1) giving Bulls full bird rights after 3rd season.
2) just making his contract more valuable in trades if needed.
That doesn’t sound too bad for a guy who will slot into a supplementary rotational role immediately. He’s also endorsed by Bobby Portis which has to mean something, right?
Bulls waive both non-guaranteed guards
In other news, the Chicago Bulls free agent signings being made official forced the team to waive two players, point guards Shaquille Harrison and Walt Lemon Jr.
Harrison was an elite defender deserving of an NBA roster spot. He wasn’t passing Satoransky or White on the depth chart nor Dunn as the coaching staff and front office continue to allow the latter player to play through his mistakes.
As far as Arcidiacono versus Harrison, they are both high-effort gritty players. If you want shooting and caretaking you go with Arcidiacono, if you want defense and NBA-level athleticism you opt for Harrison. It’s kind of personal preference, their player efficiency ratings last season were within a percentage point of each other.
Personally, I’m not upset the Bulls chose Arcidiacono over Harrison.
Walt Lemon Jr. thrilled in his limited opportunities with the Bulls at the end of the season when the team stopped trying and just threw out haphazard lineups. He averaged 14.3 points and 5.0 assists per game while shooting the 3-point ball at a 40 percent clip on limited attempts in six NBA games last season. Of course, there are a lot of bodies ahead of him on the depth chart at the point guard position and in no world is he bypassing any of Satoransky, White, or Dunn so this move wasn’t a surprise.
Both were on the Chicago Summer League squad, unclear if they’ll remain while no longer under contract. The Bulls still can bring both players back with cap space if they generate some, or at a minimum salary.
Satoranksy final year partially guaranteed
It was nearly immediately reported after the Tomas Satoransky sign-and-trade that the 3rd season was going to have ‘guarantee protection’, and now we know the exact figure: it’s a $5m guarantee on a roughly $10.5m contract for 2021-22.
As we’re well into a new CBA, any contract signed this year with partial guarantee protections no longer has the trade qualities where you can take back the non-guaranteed amount for matching. You can only take back salary matching using the fully-guaranteed amount. (I’m not sure the Bulls knew this last offseason)
This still does provide ‘protection’ for the Bulls in that they can cut Satoransky in the 2021 offseason to gain cap space.
We heard the same thing with Thaddeus Young’s deal, but no reports yet on the actual figures yet.