The Chicago Bulls finally reached a deal with their first-round draft pick, Marquis Teague. Marquis, a national champion at Kentucky, was the last first round pick of the 2012 NBA Draft to officially sign his contract. That should come as no surprise though, as the Chicago Bulls, and owner Jerry Reinsdorf, have been stashing pennies away in their pockets for years.
Teague told the Chicago Tribune:
“It’s feels good to finally get it out of the way,” he said in a phone interview. “I just want to get in the gym and start working out.”
The Chicago Bulls tried so hard to avoid the luxury tax (something Jerry has NEVER paid) by going so cheap this summer. After signing Kirk Hinrich to a mid-level exception, and using their bi-annual exception on Marco Belinelli, they have created a true $74 million hard cap. Rookie contracts are slotted in salary, but most teams can and will sign their rookies to the maximum 120 percent of the slotted amount. Not in Chicago though. No sir. Because of the Hinrich and Belinelli deals, Marquis will have to settle for 100 percent of his slotted amount, which is roughly $857,000. The remaining years on Marquis’ contract will be paid at the 120 percent slot.
It’s been a horrible summer for Chicago Bulls fans, who have seen a championship caliber team dismantled like it’s the 90′s all over again. The Bulls are $1 million away from the hard cap, and are stuck with the current roster they have. They will not sign another player this summer, even giving a veteran a minimum player contract of $758,000 is out of the question. Jerry will be paying the luxury tax this season, for the first time ever.
The 13 players the Bulls have signed, is what Chicago is going to have to deal with this season, and maybe even next. The Chicago Bulls roster got worse this summer, not better. A sure sign that the 2012 season is a bust, and 2013 might not be much different. A little over 3 weeks ago, I broke down the financial state of the Chicago Bulls and why the future is promising, but the present is looking like a lost cause: Chicago Bulls: Look Forward To The Future, Not The Present
Clearly, the goal for the front office is to attain as many small, short-term contracts as possible. Which in turn will free up cap space for the 2014 season, where the Bulls will make a push to land one or two free-agent stars to pair with Derrick Rose. Doesn’t mean it will happen though, as we have seen in the past how big name free agents treat Chicago when testing the market. Jerry better have something up his sleeve here, or Bulls fans will be asking for his head come 2014.
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