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A look at the key offseason moves and changes for every team in the league. Next up are the Chicago Bulls.
Cleansing the roster
Chicago faced a challenge this summer, hitting the reset while also trying to remain competitive.
With Derrick Rose entering the final year of his contract and the impending free agencies of Pau Gasol and Joakim Noah, Chicago was at a roster crossroads.
Would the Bulls look to rebuild through the draft, or rely on the trade market and the often unpredictable first few weeks of free agency?
When it was all said and done, the Bulls’ roster was completely overhauled.
The June trade of Derrick Rose to New York for starting center Robin Lopez, veteran Jose Calderon and backup point guard Jerian Grant was the first step.
Lopez provides durability – he played all 82 games last season – and has one of the cap-friendliest contracts in the NBA, with a starting salary of $13 million. He’s under contract through 2018-19.
One day after sending Rose to New York, Chicago added versatile Denzel Valentine with the 14th overall pick in the daft and Paul Zipser in the second round.
Valentine, coming off All-America honors at Michigan State, has the size and length to play multiple positions.
Calderon was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers as Chicago went in a different direction with the addition of former All-Star Rajon Rondo.
Rondo put up good numbers last season with Sacramento and is low risk with a two-year deal.
The return home
In the case of Chicago and Wade, sometimes timing is everything.
Not often does a team have the ability to bring back a future Hall of Famer to a place he once called home in the middle of free agency.
While his tenure in Miami ended on a sour note, the Wade signing represents a fresh start for a guard who last season played the most regular-season games (74) since the 2010-11 season.
For the same level of production, the Bulls will need to manage Wade’s minutes, something the Heat did to perfection.
1. Dwyane Wade $23,200,000
2. Jimmy Butler $17,522,209
3. Rajon Rondo $14,000,000
4. Robin Lopez $13,219,250
5. Taj Gibson $8,950,000
6. Nikola Mirotic $5,782,450
7. Doug McDermott $2,483,040
8. Tony Snell $2,368,327
9. Denzel Valentine $2,092,200
10. Jerian Grant $1,643,040
11. Bobby Portis $1,453,680
12. Isaiah Canaan $1,015,696
13. Paul Zipser $750,000
14. Spencer Dinwiddie $980,431
15. Cristiano Felicio $874,636
Salary table 2016
Guaranteed salaries $94,479,892
Dead money $0
Tax variance $105,795
Free-agent cap holds $0
Incomplete roster charge $0
Salaries: cap $96,334,959
Salaries: tax $96,440,754
Salary cap $94,143,000
Luxury tax $113,287,000
Cap space None ($2,191,959 over)
Tax room $16,846,246
The Bulls were over the cap when free agency began but opened $37 million in cap space by trading Mike Dunleavy Jr. and Calderon, and releasing the free-agent cap holds of Gasol and Noah.
Chicago signed Wade, Rajon and Zipser with cap space.
Free agents signed in the offseason cannot be traded until either Dec. 15, Jan. 15 or for three months if they signed after Sept. 15.
Wade, Rondo, Isaiah Canaan and Spencer Dinwiddie cannot be traded until Dec. 15.
Jimmy Butler and Nikola Mirotic have trade bonuses in their contract.
The current value of Butler’s bonus is $2.6 million (5 percent of his remaining contract) and Mirotic’s is $867,000 (15 percent).
Tony Snell, a 2013 first-round pick, is eligible for a contract extension.
Because Snell is in the last year of his rookie-scale deal, Chicago has up until Oct. 31 to extend his contract.
Snell, 24, has been inconsistent his first three years in Chicago and carries a low cap hold of $5.9 million going into next summer.
Taj Gibson is eligible for a contract extension but because the Bulls are over the cap, he’s only eligible to start at $9.6 million for next season.
Starter Bench Bench
PG Rajon Rondo Jerian Grant Isaiah Canaan/Spencer Dinwiddie
SG Dwyane Wade Denzel Valentine Tony Snell
SF Jimmy Butler Doug McDermott Paul Zipser
PF Nikola Mirotic Taj Gibson Bobby Portis
C Robin Lopez Cristiano Felicio
Chicago has 13 guaranteed contracts and two players with partial/non-guaranteed deals: Cristiano Felicio and Dinwiddie.
The Bulls still have the $2.89 million room mid-level exception to use if needed.
SNEAK PEEK TO NEXT SUMMER
Wade and Rondo will have an impact on the Bulls’ cap space for next season.
Wade (player option) and Rondo ($3 million guaranteed) currently count $37 million toward Chicago’s salary cap.
The Bulls, with only $62 million in guaranteed contracts, could head into the summer with $20 million in space even if Wade were to opt in and Rondo were to remain.
KEEP AN EYE ON
The starting lineup might garner the attention, but how the Bulls fare will depend on their young and inexperienced bench.
Gibson is the anchor, but Chicago will depend on Grant, Valentine and Doug McDermott, who were each drafted in the first round, and the undrafted Felicio.
Chicago could struggle this season unless the reserves provide some consistent production.
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