It's an active Friday for Chicago. The Bulls zeroed in on their first in-season signing, as they're set to bring Daequan Cook aboard, and they're taking on the Heat in Miami tonight. A win and a Pacers loss could leave them in a tie for first place in the Central Division, even with Derrick Rose still on the shelf. Amid that sort of optimism, here's the latest out of the Windy City.
- The Rockets shopped Cook in trades before waiving him, but couldn't find anyone willing to take on his $3MM salary, Marc Stein of ESPN.com reveals.
- Mark Deeks of ShamSports took to Twitter to break down the ramifications the Cook signing will have on Chicago's space under the $74.307MM hard cap. The Bulls will have $235,917 available if, as expected, Cook inks for the prorated minimum salary, enough for four 10-day contracts. They could instead add another minimum-salary player for the rest of the year starting March 3. A third option is to acquire a player via trade, and the Bulls can now only take back an additional $1,235,916 in a swap, which Deeks believes they'll try to use in a deal that sends out Richard Hamilton.
- Sam Smith of Bulls.com dips into his mailbag to answer reader questions, and says he isn't expecting much movement for the Bulls between now and the trade deadline, particularly regarding Luol Deng, who is "probably as solidly entrenched with the team" as he's ever been. Smith notes that the Bulls were offered high draft choices for Deng last season, but they didn't pursue them aggressively.
- With Cook, a shooter, on his way to Chicago, K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune wonders why the team hasn't given outside-shooting big man Vladimir Radmanovic more playing time. Responding to a question about whether Radmanovic or Nazr Mohammed, both on minimum-salary deals, Deeks says it would complicate the already difficult task the Bulls would have in pulling off a trade, given their proximity to the hard cap (Twitter links).