With the 2013-14 NBA season finally in the books, a lot of player movement is expected to happen over the course of the summer. But in order for the Chicago Bulls to lock up their own players, they may have to wait and see the market value on other free agents before they can do anything.
One of the players that the Bulls hope to re-sign this summer is guard D.J. Augustin. Augustin was one of the team’s unsung heroes during the course of the regular season and will be demanding a multi-year deal during his free agency process. However, with free agent Patty Mills helping the San Antonio Spurs win the 2014 NBA Championship from the backup guard position, he may set the market for Augustin.
Last season, reserve free agent guards who played a similar backup role as Augustin include Will Bynum and Nate Robinson. Bynum ended up re-signing with the Detroit Pistons for $5.7 million, and at the same time, Robinson signed with the Denver Nuggets for two years, $4 million. While both players had similar numbers in their respective roles—both scoring in double figures with a handful of assists—they also signed contracts being around their thirties. On the other hand, Mills is only 25 while Augustin is 26.
In a league where age means everything, Mills and Augustin might command a little more money. Also, with Mills recently winning the championship, several teams might want to scoop him up quickly. With all of that said, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Mills sign a contract worth in the neighborhood of $6-8 million. Augustin could also be the one to set the price for other reserves, but the Spurs are usually loyal to those players who have helped them win in the past, so Mills’ contract could be finalized first.
At this point, it’s very difficult to say where Augustin fits in the Bulls’ plans. If the team is able to sign Carmelo Anthony or trade for Kevin Love, it’s unrealistic to think that the Bulls will want to splurge money on a backup point guard seeing as how they won’t have enough room to spend while staying under the salary cap. For Augustin, however, Mills’ deal could more than likely dictate how much money he’ll be able to get as well. It’s just a matter of which team will be able to sign him, not just the Bulls.