Amid many rumblings about the Bulls' plans for this Thursday's draft, the front office has cut themselves off from the outside world. It all leads to more speculation that something is afoot in Deerfield.
There are two times a year when the NBA is most exciting: the midseason trade deadline and free agency in the summer. The many rumblings about which player will be moved is always thrilling, especially for Bulls fans.
Every day there's been a new rumor about new trades, and thoughts of moving into the lottery this year with such a talented class means things are looking up in the Windy City compared to two months ago.
But we've been here before and in spite of everything that's been written and rumored, the team could stand pat this summer and bring everyone back from last season. Mostly because they really don't have to do anything, at least not right now.
Trades of Luol Deng and potentially Joakim Noah have been discussed because the Bulls want to shed as much salary as possible to avoid having to pay the luxury tax. Right now paying the tax isn't so bad because the penalty is just $1 for every dollar a team is over the tax line. If a team is over $2 million dollars, they would have to pay the same amount in taxes.
Starting in the 2013-2014 season, the tax penalty will be much harsher.
Teams over the cap will have to pay $1.50 for every dollar over the tax threshold and incremental penalties of $1.75, $2.50 and $3.25 for every $5 million. Worse still, if a team has operated over the tax in four of the past five years, they must pay an additional $1 on top of what they're already paying as sort of a “repeat offender” tax.
Needless to say, every team in the league wants to avoid being over the tax line.