Bulls Clearing Cap Room For Forthcoming Move?

The Bulls have been cutting costs in a series of minor moves over the last week, having traded Jerian Grant, waived Sean Kilpatrick, and withdrawn David Nwaba‘s qualifying offer. As K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune details, the transactions signal that the Bulls are looking to create the flexibility necessary to complete a more significant move using cap room. A source tells Johnson that there’s a “strong internal belief” that Chicago will finalize another move.

Although the Bulls technically remain an over-the-cap team due to their various exceptions and cap holds, they can create up to about $20.6MM in cap room by waiving Julyan Stone and Paul Zipser, renouncing Noah Vonleh, and renouncing their trade exceptions. All of those moves are expected to happen, according to Johnson.

Johnson suggests that the Bulls’ forthcoming transaction will likely involve either shoring up their wing position or absorbing an unwanted contract with an asset attached. While Chicago has been linked to restricted free agents like Jabari Parker, Rodney Hood, and Marcus Smart intermittently within the last few weeks, I’d be very surprised if the club intends to make an offer to any of those players that requires $20MM+ in space. Clint Capela is the only RFA who might warrant such an offer, but he seems like an improbable target for the Bulls, who drafted Wendell Carter just three weeks ago.

Accommodating a salary dump looks like a more logical path for the Bulls. One popular theory that has been making the rounds is a swap that sends Carmelo Anthony ($27.93MM) and draft assets to Chicago for Cristiano Felicio ($8.47MM). This theoretical deal, which we touched on earlier this week, was fleshed out this morning by cap expert Albert Nahmad.

Such a trade may appeal to the Thunder, who could clear about $20MM from their 2018/19 cap and create nearly $100MM in projected luxury-tax savings by replacing Anthony’s salary with Felicio’s. It’d also make sense for the Bulls, who could carve out additional cap room for 2019 and/or 2020 and could perhaps acquire an extra draft pick for taking on Anthony. The Bulls would subsequently buy out Carmelo in this hypothetical scenario.

However, this is all speculation at this point. All we know for now is that the Bulls’ recent series of moves suggests they have something in mind for their cap room. We’ll have to wait to see what exactly that is.

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15 thoughts on “Bulls Clearing Cap Room For Forthcoming Move?

  1. Senioreditor

    I see Anthony to the Lakers, Deng to Chicago and picks plus others to Oklahoma and Chicago.

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    • Deng would be detrimental to Bulls future cap space. He would be on books at least 2 more years and as many as 6 more years if stretched. Whereas Anthony money that was bought out would be off books after this season. This is why they want to move Felicio – to clear future cap space.

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        • justinept

          Or the Bulls could just buy out Melo and have no cap restraints after this year. I’d say that’s more likely than tying up cap space for 3 years just to acquire a pick in the 20s.

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          • Senioreditor

            If they take Deng they’ll undoubtedly get 2-3 picks.

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    • mcmillankmm

      Lakers won’t want to pay Melo 27.9 million this year if they could just sign him for the minimum or an exception. I could see them willing to send out Deng in order to take on Melo but I doubt they’d want to attach draft assets in order to do so.

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  2. Carmelo Anthony is getting kind of long in the tooth, I would rather they good Jabari Parker and let him work his way into the lineup!!

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    • dust44

      Not sure Parker would need to work his way into the lineup. He’d b the a starting wing on the bulls the second he is on the roster

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    • toby312

      Anthony way passed long in the tooth, he’s root canal with all 4 wisdom teeth pulled, OUCH

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  3. Kawhi???

    Have some pieces they can deal (Valentine, Portis), pick(s), and keep enough youngsters and cap room to make it attractive for Claw to stay and Chicago to add an impact FA.

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    • Most people have thrown out names like Jaylen Brown and pieces or Markelle Fultz, Dario Saric, Robert Covington, and picks or Ingram/Kuzma/Hart plus picks for Kawhi…all of those proposed deals are lightyears ahead of Valentine, Portis, and picks. Even the Toronto-rumored trade of DeRozan, young players, and picks would be more appealing than that. The picks would only hold a high value if they are unprotected and even then the pick instantly loses some value as you would assume Chicago would be a fringe playoff/late lottery team post-trade in that scenario. That package would be lucky to get Buford and Pop to pick up the phone, let alone convince them to trade Kawhi. Valentine’s ceiling looks like a bench combo guard with some ability to slide to the 3 and Portis looks like a rotational big (who would start/sit depending on the rest of the roster). Not that Chicago should be interested in Kawhi unless he signs an extension right away, but a Chicago deal for Kawhi would likely start at one of (or both) Markkanen or Wendell Carter.

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  4. formerlyz

    If they sign Parker, and Milwaukee doesnt match for whatever reason, one of Carter jr or Markannen needs to come off the bench. You can use Markannen more for his scoring there, so I would start Carter over him

    Dunn, Lavine, Hutchinson, Parker, Carter jr
    Valentine, Markannen, Holiday, Portis, Blackeny off the bench…needs another wing

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  5. Man I wouldn’t leave neither Markkanen or WCJ on the bench for Jabari, Parker should be the bench guy, but would you pay all that money for a sub… I woudln’t. I think the career of Jabari is changed forever, he might be a good role player but will never reach the heights he could have, it’s a shame but injuries do finish many guys careers.

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