Omer Asik exits Chicago?
The Chicago Bulls are finalizing details on a one-year deal for Marco Belinelli while also putting finishing touches on a deal that would bring Chicago native Nazr Mohammed to the Bulls, a source familiar with the situation told ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell.
The team is also expected to decline to match the Houston Rockets' three-year, $25.1 million offer to Omer Asik, according to a source familiar with the situation. The deadline for that decision is Tuesday.
The 6-foot-5 Belinelli, who is a former first-round pick (18th overall) by Golden State, averaged 11.8 points last season with the New Orleans Hornets. He is expected to sign for the bi-annual exception, which is just under $2 million.
By using the bi-annual exception, the Bulls hard cap themselves at $74 million for the season. As ESPN salary cap expert Larry Coon has stated, the hard cap may preclude the Bulls from making any major in-season acquisitions. They will have to add minimum salaried players to fill out the roster.
Mohammed is expected to sign for the veteran's minimum, which is $1.3 million. His addition likely signals the end of Asik's days in Chicago. The deal that the Rockets structured would have meant the Bulls would have been on the hook for a cap hit of almost $15 million in the final year of the contract. The Bulls decided they did not want to take that type of financial hit given their current cap situation.
The Bulls also officially announced the signing of Kirk Hinrich, who played his first seven seasons with the Bulls before being traded to the Washington Wizards in 2010. The 6-4 guard averaged 6.6 points for the Atlanta Hawks last season in 48 games and has career averages of 12.5 points and five assists.
"I'm very excited to be back in Chicago and to wear a Bulls uniform once again," Hinrich said in a statement. "I look forward to getting back out on the court as a Bull, and contributing to the team in any way I can."
Hinrich's ability to guard both backcourt positions made him especially valuable with Derrick Rose recovering from ACL surgery.
"We are pleased to be able to bring Kirk back to Chicago. His ability to play both spots in the backcourt will help us immensely this season," Bulls GM Gar Forman said in a statement. "Kirk's tenacity and passion for the game complement our style of play, and we look forward to seeing him back in a Bulls uniform."
The Bulls signed veteran Vladimir Radmanovic earlier this week and will look to fill out the rest of the roster with minimum salaried players because of their reluctance to go deep into the luxury tax.
ESPNChicago.com's Nick Friedell contributed to this story.