Bulls Waive Tornike Shengelia

The Bulls have waived Tornike Shengelia, the team announced via press release. The team hasn’t announced a corresponding move, making Shengelia’s dismissal a bit curious even though he hasn’t been a part of Chicago’s rotation since coming over from the Nets in a January trade. Shengelia is on an expiring contract that pays him the one-year veteran’s minimum salary of $788,872, but unless a team claims him off waivers, that money will remain on Chicago’s books. It seems less likely that Shengelia, on an expiring deal, would warrant a waiver claim like former Bull Erik Murphy did, as Murphy’s contract includes a non-guaranteed 2014/15.

Shengelia saw a total of just 17 minutes for the Bulls, who acquired him in a cost-cutting move for Marquis Teague, who makes $1,074,720 this season. The difference was not insignificant to Chicago, which has struggled to create room beneath the luxury tax threshold in case Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah trigger bonuses that force the team into the tax for the second year in a row. That would set the team up for the league’s steep repeat offender tax rates if the team made it three straight taxpaying seasons in 2014/15.

The 22-year-old saw slightly more playing time while with the Nets, who acquired him shortly after the Sixers drafted him 54th overall in 2012. He averaged 1.5 points in 8.1 minutes per game in 17 appearances for Brooklyn this season, and 1.6 PPG in 4.9 MPG in 19 contests for the Nets as a rookie.

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