2019 NBA Offseason Salary Cap Digest: Chicago Bulls

It was another disappointing season for the Bulls in 2018/19, but the franchise at least secured a few more potential building blocks, having drafted Wendell Carter, extended Zach LaVine, and acquired Otto Porter in a trade. Those last two moves will limit Chicago’s spending flexibility for the 2019 offseason, but the club wasn’t expected to be a major player in free agency anyway.

Here’s where things currently stand for the Bulls financially, as we continue our Offseason Salary Cap Digest series for 2019:

Guaranteed Salary

Player Options

  • None

Team Options

  • None

Non-Guaranteed Salary

Restricted Free Agents

Unrestricted Free Agents / Other Cap Holds

Projected Salary Cap: $109,000,000
Projected Tax Line: $132,000,000

Offseason Cap Outlook

  • Realistic cap room projection: $19.9MM
  • The Bulls have just over $81MM in guaranteed salaries on their books for 2019/20, and will have to account for the cap hold for their first-round pick. Outside of those cap charges though, they shouldn’t have to carry many more. In the cap projection above, I’ve assumed that the team will hang onto Arcidiacono and try to re-sign him, while renouncing their other free agents and waiving their non-guaranteed salaries. They could clear an extra $3MM if their request to remove Asik from their cap is approved.
  • If the Bulls make an effort to re-sign some of their other free agents, they could opt to stay over the cap this summer. That would allow the club to keep its full mid-level exception and bi-annual exception, as noted below.

Cap Exceptions Available

  • Room exception: $4,760,000 4


  1. Harrison’s salary becomes partially guaranteed ($175K) after August 15.
  2. The salaries for two-way players don’t count against a team’s cap, but their cap holds do during the offseason.
  3. Because Luwawu-Cabarrot’s fourth-year rookie scale option was declined, the Bulls are ineligible to offer him a starting salary greater than his cap hold.
  4. This is a projected value. If the Bulls remain over the cap, they’d instead have access to the full mid-level exception ($9,246,000), the bi-annual exception ($3,619,000), and their lone remaining trade exception ($1,183,573; expires 1/3/20).

Note: Minimum-salary and rookie-scale cap holds are estimates based on salary cap projections and could increase or decrease depending on where the cap lands.

Salary information from Basketball Insiders and RealGM was used in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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