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Bulls Draft Recap: It's All About The Cap Space

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Jun 25, 2010 2:20PM

As we mentioned yesterday afternoon, just prior to the start of the NBA Draft the Bulls agreed to send Kirk Hinrich and their first round pick to the Washington Wizards. The Bulls get a future second round pick in return, but the move was made explicitly to clear up even more room under the salary cap. As a result, the selection of Frenchman Kevin Seraphin doesn't mean much -- he was likely drafted at Washington's request, and will officially go to the Wizards on July 8 when the deal can be completed.

So what to think of the Bulls' latest cap clearing move? It's a high risk, but potentially highly rewarding one. In the team's unrelenting effort to lure LeBron James to town, they've now cleared enough room under the salary cap to be able to offer two nearly max deals. If they offer LeBron the max contract, they could still offer the likes of Chris Bosh or Amare Stoudmire a deal only a million or so short of a max deal. Would one of the league's superstars take a small pay cut in return for getting to team up with LeBron, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah for what could likely be an extended run of championships? That's exactly what the Bulls are hoping for. While unable to directly address the trade as reported, GM Gar Forman did issue a statement on Thursday and addressed the media in general terms by stating, "Obviously, the free-agent class this summer is as attractive as there has been in the history of the league. We wanted to create flexibility. We think there will be opportunities for us. We want to be aggressive this summer. That has been our goal. We've worked for quite awhile to have this flexibility."

On the other hand, if the Bulls moves don't result in them landing two of the top five free agents next month then the Bulls would remain in the current state of prolonged mediocrity. The Bulls have traded a lot of talent, veterans like Hinrich and John Salmons, as well as developing players like Tyrus Thomas, to amass this flexibility. We can't help but remember when Bulls fans dreamed of Tracy McGrady and Grant Hill filling the cap space vacated by MJ's retirement, but ended up with Ron Mercer and Brad Miller (the first time). In another week or two, we'll know if Forman's and John Paxson's big bet paid off.