Will Bulls try to remove all doubt from next year's cap space?
atching the Bulls dish out a season-high 28 assists with Kirk Hinrich
starting at the two-guard for the first time this season, I couldn’t
help but wonder if the Bulls will try to go all-in on free-agency by
trading John Salmons.
Salmons hasn’t played as well as the Bulls hoped and scored just 3
points off the bench in Saturday’s win over New Orleans. That’s not
even the biggest issue, though. Salmons has an option to terminate the
final year of his contract, worth $6.7 million, next summer.
There’s a good chance he will, since a decent number of teams will have cap room and even if he signs for a smaller yearly salary, he might be able to guarantee himself a greater guaranteed income over the next few years.
If Salmons doesn’t opt out, it would put a huge dent in the Bulls’ cap space. Without Salmons’ contract, the Bulls have around $33.1 million in commitments, which should give them more than $20 million to spend on free agents.
With that in mind, would they try to remove the doubt and deal Salmons for an expiring contract? That all depends on how much another team would value Salmons. The 6-7 swingman has been a good defender this year, even while his shot isn’t falling.
Anyway, here are a few ideas off the top of my head involving playoff-contending teams that might be interested in adding an asset and have expiring contracts to unload:
–To Boston for Brian Scalabrine and Tony Allen.
–To Oklahoma City for Matt Harpring. The former Jazz forward is about to retire due to injuries, but the Thunder just acquired his expiring deal.
–To Dallas for Drew Gooden and Tim Thomas. This would be a funny one, but I doubt if the Bulls are allowed to trade for Thomas, since they bought him out last summer and are still paying a portion of his old contract. Maybe they can. I’ll look it up another time. The Mavs have other guys who could work.