It’s not as if the Chicago Bulls were strapped for cash, but their budget grew a little bigger today:
The NBA has removed Omer Asik's deal from the Chicago Bulls' salary books via career-ending injury/illness, freeing up an additional $3M in space, league sources tell @TheAthleticNBA @Stadium. Chicago now has upwards of $23M in salary space for free agency.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) June 26, 2019
NBA insider Shams Charnia reports the NBA has honored the Bulls’ request to remove Omer Asik’s cap-hit off their books, a move which allows Chicago to pick up $3 million in salary cap space. It’s good news for the Bulls, who have a little more financial wiggle room to work with when free agency opens up next week. Now, it’s just a matter of using it wisely.
The Bulls now have approximately $23 million in salary cap room to play with in the free agent market place. It might not seem like much, but the additional funds could allow the Bulls to put together a competitive offer sheet for a player such as Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon or Nets guard D’Angelo Russell. If the Bulls were to use their cap room to swing a deal of that magnitude, it could go a long way toward accelerating their rebuild. Or at minimum, it would be a situation where the Bulls stockpile talent now, while figuring out what to do with it after the dust settles. Either way, it could be the type of bold decision a fan base looking for something to cling to would applaud.
But if the Bulls decided not to take a big swing at a young free agent with upside and potential, there is an alternative:
As of Monday, Bulls said they hadn’t heard final decision but they always were confident of this outcome. Doesn’t change likely FA plan: Split $23M on 2 players and sign 3rd with room exception. But certainly helps. https://t.co/t7I9Mwrj9s
— K.C. Johnson (@KCJHoop) June 26, 2019
As K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune notes, the Bulls could spread the wealth and add up to three free agents who could provide depth to a team that could certainly use it. Earlier, we have discussed the likes of forward Marcus Morris, guard Patrick Beverley, or any number of reserve guards. There are others who could be in the mix who could conceivably make the Bulls a bit more competitive in the short-term.
We’ll have more on the Bulls’ cap picture and offseason outlook soon. But as of now, it looks better than it did yesterday.