All Bull - Chicago Bulls
The NBA released two numbers on Tuesday night. The salary cap for 2013-14 was set at $58.679 million, while the luxury-tax threshold is $71.748 million.
What do these figures mean for the Bulls? It’s better to take a look at them individually.
SALARY CAP: This means nothing to the Bulls this season. Even by using the amnesty clause, they won’t have any cap room.
But they are hoping to have cap space next summer. The salary cap hasn’t changed much since the recession hit. The number was actually higher in 2008-09 (by $1,000) than it is this year.
Dwight Howard has settled in Houston and now most of the high-priced free agents are off the market. As of Sunday evening, the biggest name still available was Monta Ellis, who opted out of the final year of his deal with Milwaukee. The latest major move on Saturday was former Atlanta forward Josh Smith joining Detroit.
One lingering question for the Bulls: How much longer will Nate Robinson stay on the market and is there still any chance he could return?
Here’s the list of reported agreements. Nothing can be official until July 10:
REPORTED SIGNINGS (Through July 9, 11 p.m.):
Al Jefferson signs with BOBCATS for three years, $41 million
Josh McRoberts re-signs with BOBCATS for two years, $6 million
O.J. Mayo signs with BUCKS for three years, $24 million
Breaking news on Thursday: Ex-Bulls guard Marco Belinelli has reportedly agreed to join the defending West champ San Antonio for two years, $6 million. That's the same figure the Bulls will use to sign Mike Dunleavy.
Also new, improving ex-Lakers PF Earl Clark joins the Cavs and Utah PF Al Jefferson agrees to join the Bobcats for three-years, $41 million. I'd say Jefferson made a questionable choice and am not sure why the Jazz wouldn't at least match this.
Of course, if Charlotte gets better, the Bulls might get that first-round draft pick from the Tyrus trade sooner. It's top 10 protected in 2014, top 8 in 2015, unprotected in 2016. In an ironic twist, there are rumors the Bobcats will use the amnesty provision on Thomas in order to sign Jefferson.
Bulls free-agent addition Mike Dunleavy told the Racine Journal Times he heard from at least a dozen suitors on the first day of free-agency, but quickly settled on the Bulls after personal phone calls from coach Tom Thibodeau and GM Gar Forman.
“I was very flattered by all the interest,” Dunleavy said. “There was a lot of interest; it was well into the double digits. I had some good opportunities, but Chicago blew me out of the water.
“I don’t think it’s fair to say it was one thing that determined my choice; it was just the entire package they presented me. There was high interest from them right off the bat. I knew they wanted me and that meant a lot. I couldn’t envision a better situation.”
The Bulls reached an agreement to bring back veteran center Nazr Mohammed on Tuesday. The move was expected and Mohammed confirmed the news on his Twitter account.
By adding Mohammed and Mike Dunleavy Jr., the Bulls have commitments from 12 players for next season, including draft picks. They'll probably look to add one more guard before the start of training camp.
Late Thursday night, as the NBA Draft wound down, Bulls general manager Gar Forman was asked about Luol Deng.
Deng is headed into the final year of his contract. The Bulls will explore trade interest, but it’s also possible they will try to negotiate an extension when things die down this summer.
“We value Luol, as you all know,” Forman said at the Berto Center. “You’ve heard Tom (Thibodeau) talk about it during the season. You’ve heard us talk about for years. Luol’s a big piece of what we’re doing. He’s been a big piece of the success we’ve had the last couple of years. He’ll continue to be a big piece of what we’re doing moving forward.
Not much to report heading into tonight's NBA Draft, other than reports that Boston and Brooklyn might be on the verge of a blockbuster deal that would send both Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.
Brooklyn would also get Jason Terry in the deal and presumably send Kris Humphries, Reggie Evans, Keith Bogans, three first-round picks and maybe Gerald Wallace to the now rebuilding Celtics.
The Bulls are still sitting with the No. 20 pick in the first round and looking at rampant possibilities.
One update: The Oregonian confirmed Tuesday's report in the Daily Herald that all-star power forward LaMarcus Aldridge wants out of Portland. His people have made it clear to the Bulls he'd like to land in Chicago.
Here's the link to the Oregonian story...
The Spurs and Heat played one of the best NBA Finals games in recent memory on Tuesday night.
When it was over, Miami managed to survive with a 103-100 overtime victory, San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich was subjected to critical second-guessing and two of the league’s oldest players came up big.
In a nutshell, the Spurs had this one in the bag. Tony Parker turned in an incredible sequence – tying 3-pointer, steal, spinning jumper – to put San Antonio up 91-89 with 58 seconds left.
Then after LeBron James committed turnovers on Miami’s next two possessions, the season should have been over. But the Spurs made a series of key mistakes in the final 30 seconds.
For the past several days, we’ve been hearing about Doc Rivers and Kevin Garnett moving from Boston to the L.A. Clippers.
At first, the Clippers didn’t want to include point guard Eric Bledsoe, then they didn’t want to take on the contracts of Jason Terry or Courtney Lee, then they supposedly refused to include two first-round draft picks in the deal.
On Tuesday, there was talk that the talks are completely over. Even a straight-up Garnett for DeAndre Jordan and draft picks was reportedly rejected. No deal is over until it’s over, so a revival is always possible.
The Finals are not over yet, but it’s easy to see why San Antonio is in the driver’s seat with a 3-2 lead.
People are still talking about the Big Three era with the Spurs, and rightfully so, since this could be the fourth NBA title for Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili over a span of 11 years.
Duncan could win his fifth championship, since he got one in 1999 before the other two arrived.
In reality, the Spurs have the edge because they’re not a Big Three team anymore. While Parker has taken over for Duncan as the team’s go-to player, Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard have become as important as anybody. Now it’s five players contributing, backed by some decent role players like Tiago Splitter, Boris Diaw and Gary Neal.