Bulls waive Bynum to avoid luxury tax

Bulls waive Bynum to avoid luxury tax, as expected

1/7/14 in NBA   |   Matthew_Shovlin   |   735 respect

When the Chicago Bulls acquired Andrew Bynum in a trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers, it was clear what they were trying to do - get unwanted contracts off the books. Acquiring Bynum allowed the Bulls to ship Luol Deng off to Cleveland, which rid them of what remained on his $14.28 million salary for this season. In addition, Bynum's contract would not be guaranteed if he were to be released by Tuesday evening, so that is exactly what the Bulls did - the Chicago Tribune has reported that the Bulls have officially waived Andrew Bynum.

The move gets the Bulls under the luxury tax, saving them plenty of money on what looks like a lost season with superstar point guard Derrick Rose (knee) on the shelf once again. The Bulls do have a solid record by Eastern Conference standards and are currently in a playoff spot, but they do not have a realistic chance of winning a title, so they are saving their cash and getting ready to bolster their team for the future (they got a few draft picks in the Bynum trade).

Dec 23, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers center Andrew Bynum reacts in the second quarter against the Detroit Pistons at Quicken Loans Arena. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY SportsBynum now hits the open market with a track record of strong production and impressive talent, but also several red flags such as health, commitment, effort level, and a horridly low field goal percentage this season.

Contending teams will surely be willing to gamble on a player like Bynum. If Bynum is unproductive or lazy, they can simply sit him on the bench or kick him to the curb. If Bynum regains (or comes close to regaining) his 2011-12 form, the team that signs him will have a steal on their hands. Contenders that are rumored to have interest in Bynum include the Miami Heat, who have a shortage of viable big men, and the Los Angeles Clippers, who need a backup center who is halfway decent at making free throws (to avoid the hack-a-DeAndre Jordan).

Bynum will have to clear waivers before a team signs him. No one is going to take on the $6.3 million remaining on his contract.
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1/8/14   |   marcus_nyce   |   27348 respect

I think the Heat can offer him the most using their Taxpayer mid-level exception (around $3.2) as opposed to the Clips only being able to offer the veteran minimum $1.2 Mil. Dallas may get in the mix too, since they had him on their radar last year.