If you want the model of how to win without spending like Mark Cuban, you look at the Bulls. Even during the Jordan era owner Jerry Reinsdorf was a guy who won as cheaply as he could. He does not like to pay the luxury tax.
Right now, the Bulls are doing that again — they made the Eastern Conference finals last season with a $55 million payroll. But that is about to change. Once they give Derrick Rose his max deal that means in two years they will have more than $57 million tied up in a core or Rose, Carlos Boozer, Luol Deng and Joakim Noah. That’s the year the luxury tax starts to get more punitive with higher rates.
Reinsdorf told the Chicago Tribune he would spend to win.
Chicago Bulls Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf on Wednesday reiterated through a team spokesman that he would give strong consideration to incurring the luxury tax if the player acquisition gave the team a reasonable chance to win a championship.
That answer is similar in sentiment to Reinsdorf’s response on the subject from a 2009 interview. However, with a more punitive luxury tax poised to take effect in 2013-14 of the pending 10-year collective bargaining agreement, as well as increased revenue sharing, the question applied anew.
He might go a little over the tax, but not a lot. That despite how much money the Bulls rake in (although Reinsdorf is now going to have to pay more of that out in revenue sharing).
If the Bulls are going to win a ring, GM Gar Forman is going to have to be smart and find a few deals out there.