Bulls offer J.J. Redick 3 years/$19 mil: What’s next?
On Friday night, the Bulls extended an offer sheet to restricted free agent J.J. Redick for $19 million over 3 years. The Orlando Magic will now have seven days to match that offer from the Bulls. The Magic roster, as it is currently situated, is designed to win now at all costs. Their GM, Otis Smith, has shown little hesitation in taking on additional salaries in past years to strengthen his team into one of the top teams in the East. He matched Gortat’s offer sheet, added Brandon Bass, and this past week, used a healthy chunk of their Mid-Level Exception to sign Chris Duhon to a 4 year, $15 million contract.
One would think that a prudent owner/GM might face some trepidation in matching J.J. Redick’s offer sheet. With their roster already $10 million over the luxury tax level of $70 million for 2010-11, the Magic will essentially be paying double the salary offered to Redick if they match his offer sheet. Assuming the Bulls do a little front-loading of his contract and pay something like $8 mil for the first year with subsequent decreases, the Magic would be faced with essentially paying $16 million for the services of Mr. Redick. I don’t care how ballsy you are, that’s a lot of loot. Apparently though, Stan Van Gundy says the Magic intend to match any offer, so frontloading his contract to create as big of a “poison pill” as possible may be necessary.
With the Magic’s fiscal constraints (however real or imagined they might be) the Bulls should be able to plan on having J.J. Redick on the roster for next season. If so, that will take up some of the remaining cap room, but the Bulls will still enjoy some flexibility.
July began with the Bulls having nearly $31.9 million available under the cap of $58.04 million. Carlos Boozer’s contract will likely be structured with escalators that will only pay him $13 million for 2010-11. Let’s say Kyle Korver’s three year deal for $15 million will be stretched out evenly over each of the years. Combined with Redick’s $8 million in the first year, this leaves the Bulls with a conservative $5.3 million left to spend (give or take depending on how these salaries are structured).
Omer Asik has reportedly agreed to finally come over and play for the Bulls so he must be factored into the remaining salary cap space(please no Tarlac/Bagaric flashbacks). One blogger suggested we look to the Grizzlies’ signing of Iranian Center Hamed Haddadi to base our expectations on what Asik’s salary will look like. Haddadi signed a 3 year deal for $4.8 million. With the injury and free-throw shooting concerns (Hack-an-Omer could be a viable strategy at sub-50%) the Bulls should be able to sign him for a little less. Let’s pencil in a 3 year deal for $4.2 million. That would leave us with something close to $3.9 million left.
Who would the Bulls consider with the remaining cap space? The Bulls could use some additional depth in the backcourt and another big man to pair with Noah and Asik. My two suggestions? Ronnie Brewer and Brad Miller.
Brewer made close to $2.7 million last year in Memphis, but the Grizzlies elected not to resign him. The Jazz are reportedly interested in him as well, but they are currently up against the cap as well, and may have to use their remaining cap space if guard Wesley Matthews draws any qualifying offers in the next few weeks. It may be wishful thinking to think that Brewer would take a pay cut to play with the Bulls, but a nice three year contract that would last into the new CBA might be the kind of security that Brewer is looking for.
The fleet-footed Brad Miller will undoubtedly be in demand this summer with teams willing to offer a significant portion of their MLE to get his services. But maybe it’s time for Miller to think about sticking close to home, playing with players he has already achieved a comfort level with, and taking a little less pay to stay with the Bulls. I mean his last contract did pay him $23.6 million dollars over the last two years. From my limited knowledge of the collective bargaining agreement, the Bulls could get away with paying Miller less than $1 million and the league would pick up the rest of his veteran’s minimum salary which would actually reach $1.35 million for 2010-11. Not too shabby for a few minutes subbing for whomever has plantar fasciitis that week and lending your six fouls when we go up against teams with significant center/power forward duos (i.e. Not Miami).
It will be interesting to see what the Magic do with J.J. Redick and what other moves the Bulls can make, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.