Bulls Owner Makes Strong Statement on Tough Financial Challenge

Zach LaVine

David Banks/Getty Images Zach LaVine

The Chicago Bulls are currently in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 39-21 record. As it stands right now the team is a half-game ahead of the Miami Heat in the standings.

While the team is having a good season, the Bulls do have questions approaching this offseason. For starters, All-Star guard Zach LaVine is set to be an unrestricted free agent.

LaVine is expected to command a multi-year deal that will land over $200 million. The team will also have to make decisions on free-agent players like Derrick Jones Jr., Troy Brown Jr., and Tristan Thompson.

Willing to Spend

The Bulls Chief Operating Officer Michael Reinsdorf joined NBC Sports Chicago’s Bulls Talk Podcast recently and talked about if the team is willing to pay for a championship-caliber team.

“Absolutely. All you have to do is go back and look at the last number of championship teams, how many of them were in the luxury tax? With the nature of the NBA and having a soft cap, if you want to compete for championships, you have to be willing to spend into the tax,” said Reinsdorf. “I think most people will tell you, ‘I don’t want to spend into the tax if we’re not competing for championships, if we’re not good enough. I don’t want to be the 8th seed or out of the playoffs and go into the luxury tax.’

“But when it comes to a team like this (the Bulls), and if we can take the necessary steps next year that allow us to compete for a championship, then for sure we’ll go into the tax. It’s part of the nature of the NBA.”

“We’re going to spend the money because you have to invest in your team,” Reinsdorf said. “I’m looking forward to it, because if we’re spending in the tax, that means we have a really good team.”

Hearing that the Bulls are willing to go into the luxury tax will certainly be encouraging for Bulls fans. Reinsdorf also spoke specifically about the team’s plans for LaVine.

“My hope is that he’s here for years to come,” Reinsdorf said. “And Zach knows how we feel about him.”

Championship Caliber Team

The Bulls have only paid the luxury tax once, according to NBC Sports Chicago. That one time came at the end of the 2012-13 season when the team had to pay $3.9 million.

The ultimate question for the Bulls right now is, are they a championship team? At the moment the answer is unclear. We still haven’t seen this Bulls team at full strength all season.

The Bulls are still in the process of trying to get fully healthy. The team does expect to get Patrick Williams, Lonzo Ball, and Alec Caruso back before the end of the season. It’s just uncertain when each player will be back.

If the Bulls can get fully healthy, this postseason will be a good look for the front office on how close the team is to competing for a championship. If the team can get close, it will likely mean that the front office will be willing to spend more money.


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Craig Wachs
Craig Wachs
5 months ago

this team can win the east when healthy … beating the west teams / not sure ….

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