One of the worst kept trade secrets in the NBA is that the Chicago Bulls are interested in moving guard Rip Hamilton in order to get back under the luxury tax and avoid having to pay it for the first time in the franchise’s history this season. As soon as the Bulls went over the luxury tax this offseason, everyone watching immediately recognized that Rip Hamilton was going to be trade bait at the deadline — which according to Ken Berger is exactly the case.
Berger says that Derrick Rose’s apparent reluctance to play this season has the Bulls ready to unload some contracts they might have been willing to hang onto in order to make a championship run. The whole idea of bringing in Rip Hamilton last season was so that he would provide some extra offense and veteran playoff experience.
Hamilton won an NBA championship with the Detroit Pistons back in 2004. But Hamilton and Rose could never stay healthy at the same time 2012 and now that we’re halfway done with 2013, the same story is being told.
Although they planned to be over the tax for the first time this season, Derrick Rose‘s stated reluctance to return from ACL surgery before he’s “110 percent” presents a dilemma. Why pay the tax and burn a year on the clock that begins ticking this season toward massive repeater-tax penalties for a less-than-championship season? For that reason, sources say the Bulls are open to moving Rip Hamilton in a deal that makes sense and saves them a year on the repeater-tax rolls.
- Ken Berger
The Bulls No. 1 priority is getting Derrick Rose healthy again but not paying the luxury tax is right up there with it. The trading of Carlos Boozer looks like it’s not going to happen before the deadline which means the Bulls need to divorce themselves from a pricey contract to get back under the tax. Hamilton is due to count $5 million against the Bulls this season, so moving him is sounding like an attractive idea to the front office.