The Bulls plan to add Mike James, and Ronnie Brewer is a likely addition as well, per K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. Johnson adds that a third player could be signed after James and Brewer, a possibility we reported when Erik Murphy was first waived. As we noted earlier today, the Bulls should avoid the the luxury tax regardless of whether Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson earn their performance bonuses, thanks to the Jazz claiming Murphy off of waivers. Murphy’s salary was greater than multiple late-season pro-rated contracts will likely add up to.
James would meet the same need that he filled when playing on a 10-day contract with Chicago earlier this season: backup point guard. Brewer, however, could move in front of Tony Snell in the Bulls’ wing rotation. Snell’s minutes have dried up recently, and Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times thinks the Bulls interest in Brewer is directly tied to coach Tom Thibodeau’s frustration with Snell.
Luol Deng was traded earlier in the season as merely a cost-cutting move, and there has been much speculation about the Bulls plans for this season and beyond ever since. Johnson notes that the team has had contingency plans in place to avoid the repeater tax even if they exceeded the tax cap this season, and it appears they’ve reached a level of flexibility to be more active. After going much of the season below the league minimum for rostered players, the Bulls are adding potential rotation pieces in a flourish. If the newest signings occur, they will combine with recent addition Jimmer Fredette to give the Bulls at or near the max of 15 players under contract.