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News » Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2008-08-29

Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2008-08-29

Chicago Bulls Notes, Quotes 2008-08-29
--G Ben Gordon thinks he'll be playing somewhere else this season as his contract negotiations with the Bulls are dragging along. One issue dominating the situation is the NBA's luxury tax. The Bulls are already perilously close to surpassing the tax threshold of $71 million for next season. If the payroll exceeds that amount, the Bulls will have to pay a dollar-for-dollar tax on the excess and also will not share in the distribution of taxes collected from other teams.

After signing Luol Deng to a new deal, the Bulls have about $7.8 million left to pay Gordon next season without hitting the tax threshold. Over six years, with maximum raises, the deal could grow to about $59 million. If Gordon wants more, he might have to orchestrate a sign-and-trade deal with another team or accept the one-year qualifying offer and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. The second option does not appeal to Gordon.

"I guess it's safe to say I've played my last game in a Bulls uniform," said Gordon, who expressed interest in leaving Chicago via a sign-and-trade deal.

"I'm pretty optimistic it'll happen," said Gordon. "It's very likely.

"It's a numbers game," he said. "Last season at the trade deadline, they brought in more guards and I saw my minutes drop and didn't understand why. This year, the problem's still the same. I don't see it getting better, so maybe it'll be a better situation for me personally somewhere else."

--First-year coach Vinny Del Negro paid a visit to the Olympic team training camp in Las Vegas, where he watched Bulls' rookie Derrick Rose compete for the U.S. Select Team in scrimmages against the Olympians.

"I thought Derrick continually got more comfortable as every day went on," Del Negro said. "He just kept getting better and better, which is really exciting. I know he was happy with the way he played."

Rose's summer league experience was cut short by tendinitis in his right knee, but his participation in the Olympic camp was probably a good indication that the problem is not serious.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I wouldn't call it pressure. Definitely, you have responsibilities. I always work hard and I do what I'm supposed to do. I'm committed to being a great player. I see myself being a great player in this league." -- F Luol Deng, on signing the largest contract in franchise history, worth $71 million over six seasons.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: August 29, 2008


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