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Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Bulls might waive Nate Robinson to save money (and possibly for another reason, one for which I have no evidence)



K.C. Johnson reports that the Bulls, despite being a number four seed without having their MVP on the court, are sorely tempted to waive Nate Robinson.

In one of the most unheralded high quality moves of the summer - unheralded because the dominant Bullsean narrative of the summer was rightly one of cost-cutting and player-dumping - the Bulls were able to sign Robinson to not only a minimum salary contract, but a partially guaranteed one at that. Of the $1,146,337 Nate is owed - an amount which, if he's kept for the full season, the Bulls will owe only $854,389 of - only $400,000 is guaranteed, becoming fully guaranteed if not waived on or before January 1st [not the 10th, as reported elsewhere]. In an industry where the permanent goal is to sign as good as quality of player as is possible for as cheap of a price as is possible, this is an incredibly good contract. The institutional maligning of Nate as a player that dates back years cannot (or should not) ignore the fact that he's a hugely talented player who can single handedly turn the outcome of NBA games. And the Bulls should know this, because he's done that more than once for them this season.

The move would be, of course, patently ridiculous. Even if the season was a wash, you don't waive a most vital contributor to save on what, by NBA standards, is a nominal fee, and by no standard is the season proving to be a wash in the first place. Nate is third on the Bulls in PER, the only man who can consistently create a shot off the dribble in Rose's absence, arguably the team's best ball handler, its only creative backcourt player, and one of its best shooters. He's even being masked defensively by the Bulls's meticulous defensive system, and is thus a hugely important player to a team whose season is still important. There are absolutely no basketball reasons why Nate should be cut on the basis of his performance thus far, and the justification offered - that Marquis Teague is showing "signs" - is an unbelievably tepid excuse. Teague has not yet even had the Bulls career of Acie Law, who at least managed three good games to Teague's two. Excited by his future as they may be, there is absolutely no reason why Teague should play ahead of Nate if the Bulls want to win games.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Nazr Mohammed and Trade Kickers

Even though he signed a one year minimum salary contract using the Minimum Salary Exception, Nazr Mohammed has a 15% trade kicker in his current contract.

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