12:50pm: Smith’s contract is fully guaranteed for next season, tweets Shams Charania of RealGM. It’s for the minimum salary both this year and next, since the capped-out Bulls are out of exceptions.
12:30pm: The Bulls have signed former Rockets center Greg Smith, the team announced. The move comes just a half hour after the team waived Tornike Shengelia, presumably to make room. Smith is likely out for the season after undergoing surgery on his right knee in January, and that motivated Houston to cut ties. He’s ineligible to play in the postseason for Chicago since the Rockets waived him last week, long after the March 1st deadline for him to retain the ability to take part in the playoffs with another team. Given his unavailability for this season, Chicago’s contract with Smith probably extends into next season.
Chicago strongly pursued the retired Kurt Thomas, but wound up inking Smith and, last week, Lou Amundson instead, tweets Marc Stein of ESPN.com. That might have accounted for the lag between the team’s announcements today.
Smith appeared in only 11 games for the Rockets this year, in part because of injuries and in part because of a crowded frontcourt that includes Dwight Howard and Omer Asik. He was in the team’s rotation last season, averaging 6.0 points and 4.6 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per game across 70 appearances, 10 of which were starts.