Up next for the Bulls is filling out the rest of their bench rotation. Once Dunleavy signs a contract after the league’s moratorium is lifted on July 10, and assuming Chicago cuts Richard Hamilton loose and keeps Erik Murphy, the Bulls will have eleven players under contract for next season. They’ll probably add a couple more, at least one of which will be a big man, and the team said on Monday that they’re confident they’ll be able to bring back 36-year-old Nazr Mohammed. Malcolm Thomas would be an inexpensive fifth big man, and he’ll have Summer League to prove he deserves an opportunity to return to the team full-time this season.
Since they’re headed for luxury tax territory again this season, they probably won’t roster more than thirteen players. Despite the fact that they have a $5 million traded player exception left over from the Kyle Korver trade last summer, they probably will only use it if they can acquire an expiring contract. If they follow the plan outlined above, those 13 players—Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Luol Deng, Carlos Boozer, Joakim Noah, Kirk Hinrich, Marquis Teague, Mike Dunleavy, Taj Gibson, Nazr Mohammed, Tony Snell, Erik Murphy, and Malcolm Thomas—could very well be the roster we see on Media Day this fall.