Buyout Rumors: Bulls, Granger, Butler

The Bulls don’t believe adding a 13th guaranteed contract at this point will push the team into the luxury tax, according to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune. I examined last month how the team’s proximity to the tax could affect its roster, and Mark Deeks of ShamSports did the same, noting how a bonus for Taj Gibson could push the team over the tax line. Deeks tweeted recently that the Bulls couldn’t sign anyone for the rest of the season until April 3rd, but judging from reports linking them to Jimmer Fredette, Danny Granger and Caron Butler, it appears they don’t have to wait that long. Here’s more on a bustling post-deadline market:

  • Granger is having phone conversations today with the Spurs, Heat, Rockets, Clippers and Bulls, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports. Those are the teams that TNT’s David Aldridge identified Wednesday as Granger’s preferred destinations.
  • Deeks clarifies that the Bulls can sign two players for the rest of the season today and stay out of the tax if they’re confident Gibson won’t make an All-Defensive Team and trigger the bonus clause in his contract. If they wanted to play it safe in case Gibson does earn such an honor, they’d have to wait until April 3rd to hand out any contract for the rest of the season (Twitter links).

Earlier updates:

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