Frank Franklin II/Associated Press
So, what if Mirotic doesn’t come? What can the Bulls do then? If the cap is $63 million, that would put the max contract for a new signing at $18.9. That’s a little over what the Bulls would have to offer in an outright contract for a new deal. The most they’d be able to offer anyone is a four-year, $68 million deal starting at $16 million.
Obviously, if LeBron James agrees to play for that, you fall down on your knees, take it as the basketball gods repaying the Bulls for four years of trials and then do a jig, all while cackling to yourself like a crazy person.
That’s probably not going to happen,though.
If Carmelo Anthony agrees to take the cut, it’s very interesting. He’s been anything but a franchise player for the New York Knicks, scoring title or not. With only one trip past the first round, and a 105-83 record since being traded there, it’s not like he screams “rings.”
Yes, the Knicks have been restricted in what they can do because of salary, but part of the reason for that is the contracts he and Amar’e Stoudemire have. Additionally, his forcing a trade so he could get that contract, costing the Knicks all their depth, plays into things.
But let’s say he’s learned his lesson and Marc Berman of the New York Post is correct in his report, per a source, that Thibodeau is part of the appeal of the Bulls for Anthony. Let’s say he really wants to win more than get paid. Wouldn’t taking less money, ala 2011 James make that statement?
And if he did that and was willing to take coaching, and it cost the Bulls nothing but salary, it could be very interesting. If Thibodeau could resuscitate D.J. Augustin’s career, what could he do for Anthony’s?
Certainly, with Rose and Anthony being two of the most dynamic offensive players in the game today, the days of offensive struggles in Chicago would be over. The question is: Would Anthony commit to defense? And that’s a very legitimate one. He has shown in brief spans, when he does commit, he can be a solid defender. He just doesn’t commit.
Now, there's always the possibility he won't take a cut, but if he doesn't, he's not wroth it. The only way that Anthony is going to convince me he's willing to sacrifice numbers to win a title is if he shows he's willing to sacrifice dollars to win a title.
Plans that revolve around a player taking a pay cut aren’t always going to work, so is there anyone just below that max-level value the Bulls could go after?
Chris Bosh, makes sense, and a four-year, $68 million offer might be in his ballpark.
Bosh has seen his value decline in his time with the Miami Heat, as he’s gone from first option to third option, but that could benefit the Bulls if they inked him. Lower usage means his price tag might have dropped. It also means he’s not as worn down as he might have been. There could be four solid years left in him.
Of course if the Bulls do sign him, though, it might be a while before he’s not afraid of Jimmy Butler anymore.
Whatever the Bulls do, it will be the most interesting offseason in four years.