On July 14, F Jabari Parker agreed to a 2 year/$40M deal with the Chicago Bulls. Parker, returning from a second NBA ACL injury, was a restricted free agent of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Going into the day, the Bulls sat at $89.8M in salaries paid or tied up in cap holds. That left them with roughly $12M in room after matching the LaVine offer. Thus, they needed to extend an offer to Jabari Parker greater than his $3.6M QO from the Bucks. Also, the Bucks sat roughly $11M below the Luxury Tax with the Parker QO extended, meaning that they likely only could offer him a contract with a 2018-2019 value of $11M (assuming they want to avoid the tax). By nature, the Bucks had the advantage, having more natural cap room ($12M) than the Bucks had beneath the apron ($11M).
When the Bulls extended the 2 year/$40M deal to Parker, the numbers didn’t initially line up. In order to clear the roughly additional $8M in room, the Bulls needed to waive Paul Zipster and Julyan Stone (whom they just acquired from Charlotte). Also, they needed to renounce the rights to Noah Vonleh, David Nwaba, and Ryan Arcidiacano. With these movements, the Bulls cleared up $20.6M in room, allowing the Parker deal to go through. As part of the agreement, the Bucks generously rescinded their qualifying offer, allowing Parker to enter the deal as an unrestricted free agent.
An important thing to note is that the Parker deal has a second year Team Option, meaning that the Bulls are paying Parker $20M in 2018-2019 for a tryout. If Parker returns to near-All-Star form, the payment looks par for the course. They can then choose to bring him back for another $20M the next season. If he is beneath his usual playing form or he finds himself injured again, the Bulls can simply choose to opt out of his contract before the 2019-2020 season. After offering the deal, the Bulls sit with 13 players on the roster and $641,178 in cap room. They still have the full $4.4M Room-MLE.
Expect them to use part of all of the Room-MLE to sign a veteran player (14), and they will likely then extend a veteran minimum contract to the 15th player. They still have one open two-way roster spot (Antonio Blakeney is the first).
I'm Jake, a recent graduate of Duke University pursuing a career in collegiate or professional basketball operations.
Cap #s 2018 - 2019
Salary Cap: $101.869M
Lux. Tax: $123.733M
Tax Apron: $129.827M
Tax Floor: $91.682M
Room MLE: $4.45M