A wild Wednesday passed with the NBA's free-agent moratorium ending, LeBron James' future in limbo, Carmelo Anthony likely announcing his return to the Knicks on Thursday and the Bulls focused on Pau Gasol. Twitter somehow survived. Though the Bulls had yet to be told officially they're out of the Anthony sweepstakes, the New York Daily News reported Anthony will make his Knicks' announcement Thursday. That would intensify the Bulls' pursuit of Gasol, and league sources indicated the Bulls hope to pursue sign-and-trade options with the Lakers for him involving Carlos Boozer's expiring salary. The window to use the amnesty provision on Boozer's salary officially opened at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday. But the Bulls all along have been trying to trade him, not only to relieve themselves of their financial commitment to him but more to stay above the salary cap. This would allow them to use exceptions to sign other players. Nikola Mirotic, Trevor Ariza, Shawn Marion, Kirk Hinrich and Ramon Sessions are just some of the possibilities. With the NBA setting the salary cap for the 2014-15 season at $63.065 million, the Bulls would have $10 million of cap space if they have to use the amnesty route on Boozer, who won't be back. The Bulls have until July 17 to use the amnesty provision. The luxury tax line for next season was set at $76.829 million. General manager Gar Forman has maintained consistently the Bulls will be a fuller, more improved team regardless of what happens in free agency. A big reason will be the return of Derrick Rose, who again practiced with the Bulls' summer-league entry at the Berto Center on Wednesday.
Bulls likely losers in Carmelo Anthony derby
Chicago Tribune | Jul 10