Chicago Bulls Roster Shaping Up: Squeezing Under the Luxury Tax

Matt AnayaContributor IOctober 15, 2009

BOSTON - MAY 02:  Derrick Rose #1 of the Chicago Bulls drives to the net as Rajon Rondo #9 of the Boston Celtics defends in Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2009 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 2, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Celtics defeated the Bulls 109-99. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)


With only two weeks before the regular season starts the Chicago Bulls roster is looking near completion. After waiving guard Curtis Stinson earlier this month, the roster has remained intact and it looks like Derrick Byars and Chris Richard have a small chance to make the team.

I think both players are better than Aaron Gray and Jerome James, not to mention Lindsay Hunter, but all three of those players have guaranteed contracts. You can thank Isaiah Thomas for that Jerome James contract, but Gar Foreman signed Gray and Hunter this offseason to guaranteed deals.

The Bulls are up against the salary cap and have only $1,075,617 to spend before they pay the luxury tax. That is barely enough room for both Byars and Richard who will make $457,588 if they sign with the Bulls, but that would restrict the Bulls from being able to sign a veteran in an emergency.

I like Byars and Richard. Byars is a tall, long, athletic, versatile 6’7” shotmaker who does not need to score to make plays. I am not sure about his defensive prowess, but I know the kid can play offense and might turn out to be a decent NBA player in five years. Maybe even quicker.

Chris Richard is a big boy. He was the sixth man on the University of Florida back-to-back National Championships squads, playing behind lottery picks Joakim Noah and Al Horford. He will set screens, defend, rebound, and make some timely putbacks, but that is about it. I mentioned he went to Florida and you know how much the Bulls cherish players from big time programs.

I think both players will make the team and they will look good in street clothes all season long.


Matt Anaya