Paxson On Rose, Cap Space, Deng, Trades

Derrick Rose has long maintained that he doesn’t like to recruit other players to Chicago, and Bulls executive VP of basketball operations John Paxson doesn’t think that stance puts the team at a disadvantage, as Paxson said on ESPN Chicago 1000’s “The Waddle & Silvy Show.” Paxson said he wouldn’t have been comfortable recruiting during his playing days, either. The sharpshooter-turned-executive had plenty more to say about the state of the Bulls, as we highlight via transcriptions from and Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders:

On whether the team will try to clear room to ink a max-salary free agent this summer:

“Not necessarily, because we have other avenues. We still have some short-term contracts that can be used in deals and we don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. It’s tough to play that game thinking that you’re just going to unload, unload, unload and try to have as much money [as possible]. Sometimes you can have too much, I guess.”

On the team’s motivation for trading Luol Deng:

“The reason for doing the Deng deal has been obvious, we’ve stated it a number of times. It doesn’t put us in a position right now to have max cap room this summer but it does give us the opportunity to have the ability to go out and pursue some guys and look at different avenues, whether it’s through trading players or trading for players.”

On his approach at the trade deadline next month:

“It’s a process. Now if somebody comes — we’ve got three weeks now until the trade deadline and there hasn’t really been any chatter at all from teams yet, but that’s often the case when you’re three weeks away — we’ll listen. But we’re still a team that has played pretty well, and we like a lot of our pieces and we’ll see where the year goes. People know that our guys don’t quit, our coach doesn’t quit and we don’t quit, and we’re just going to keep fighting away.”

On the luxury tax and the perception of the Bulls as being cheap:

“I can tell you about what’s happened recently. We came into the season with a high payroll, in the tax for the second straight year. With Derrick’s injury and other things we made the decision to move Luol and get under the luxury tax this year to give us some flexibility for years going forward. From the business standpoint we felt it was the right thing to do and you have to think that way; it is just a reality of the business. You hear those things [about being cheap], but to feel like you have to go out and respond to everyone, you just end up chasing your tail and it’s really not worth it. I know we work for a terrific owner and an organization that is willing to spend; we just don’t want to spend foolishly, and I think 90 percent of the teams in this league think that way.”

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