Putting a bow on the Deng trade

Trading Luol Deng to the Cleveland Cavaliers is going to save the Chicago Bulls a significant amount of money in two forms. The Bulls will not have to pay Deng the remainder of his $14.3 million salary this season and it takes them under the dreaded luxury tax line.

But the Bulls still have a move or two to make in order to free up enough money to have some flexibility in free agency this offseason. As it stands, they have $64.1 million in guaranteed contracts on the books for the 2014-15 season, which is slightly over the projected salary cap line of $62.9M.

That next move could be using the amnesty clause on Carlos Boozer this offseason. He's set to make $16.8 million in the final season of his contract in 2014-15 and by using the clause the Bulls could reduce the amount on their books from $64.1 million to $47.3 million.

Chicago would still have to pay Boozer a significant portion of that $16.8 million (amount varies based on what his next contract would be), but ultimately a large portion of Chicago's savings this season could be spent next season on the ramifications of using the amnesty clause on Boozer.

In addition to holding their own selection in the 2014 NBA draft, the Bulls obtained a 2014 top-12 protected pick from the Kings in the Deng trade (the Cavaliers owned the Kings pick from a prior deal). The likelihood of Chicago receiving that pick in 2014, however, isn't very high as Sacramento currently holds the fourth-worst record in the league.

Perhaps more likely: The Bulls could receive the Bobcats' 2014 first-round selection stemming from a deal which involved Chicago sending Tyrus Thomas to Charlotte back in 2010. That pick is only top-10 protected and Charlotte is currently in seventh place in the Eastern Conference.