The Chicago Bulls would like to trade Rajon Rondo, but they have very limited time to accomplish that.
Rondo is set to make $13.4 million in the final year of his deal next season if he remains on the Bulls roster through Friday. However, the Bulls will only have to pay him $3 million if they renounce his rights before the end of the day. K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune expects the team to end up doing just that.
Before Jimmy Butler was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Bulls said publicly that they want Rondo back and were planning to exercise his team option. According to Johnson, Chicago tried to include Rondo in some of the Butler trade scenarios but had no luck. Now, the 31-year-old point guard will likely be waived.
Rondo has been included in some recent trade proposals because of the way his contract is structured, including some larger scenarios with Butler before the deal with the Timberwolves materialized. Barring an unexpected trade opportunity materializing Friday, expect Rondo to be waived.
Sources said the Bulls and Rondo’s representatives discussed re-signing the veteran guard at a lower salary. But that’s a long shot scenario.
Dwyane Wade is likely to exercise his $23.8 million player option for next season, but that decision seems strictly financial. There’s a chance he could enter into a buyout discussion with the Bulls, but the team has said they are operating under the assumption that he will be on the roster next season.
The Bulls are clearly trending toward a complete rebuild with younger players like Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne. While Rondo looked like his old self before fracturing his thumb in the playoffs, his tenure in Chicago hasn’t exactly been free of drama. A parting of ways makes sense.