3. Chicago Bulls
The Chicago Bulls owe the fourth-most of any team next year and will be paying $17 million to a player whose uniform was a suit for the 2012-13 season. The All-Star and 2010-11 season MVP, Derrick Rose, will return next year, and it could not be at a better time.
The Bulls paid a nearly $4 million fee in 2012-13. Like all of the other teams on this list, once incremental rates come into play, the Bulls will pay more. Assuming there were incremental rates for the 2012-13 season, the Bulls would have owed almost $6 million.
The Bulls’ financial difficulties are compounded when you consider that they owe about $4 million more next year than they did this year, due mostly to the fact that Taj Gibson’s contract triples in 2013-14, going from $2,155,811 this year to $7,550,000 for 2013-14. Gibson’s extension adds even more financial pressure to team that already feels the pressure to perform.
However, Chicago’s prime location as a major TV market helps alleviate some of those pressures, as the Bulls management have a little wiggle room when it comes to going over the tax level.