The first domino of the Bulls' offseason has dropped.
In an expected move, Al-Farouq Aminu plans to pick up his $10.2 million player option for the 2020-21 season, NBC Sports Chicago's K.C. Johnson confirmed Monday:
Aminu came to Chicago as part of the trade with the Orlando Magic that netted Nikola Vučević at the 2021 deadline. After signing there on a three-year, $29.2 million contract in July 2019, Aminu struggled with injury during two seasons in Orlando, appearing in just 35 of a possible 99 games in his tenure.
The Bulls, meanwhile, haven't offered much in the way of opportunity. Aminu logged 12 minutes in his debut, but broke the rotation in only five contests afterwards for a total of 67 minutes, many of which were of the mop-up variety. He turns 31 in September.
The Bulls' cap space possibilities this offseason are as bountiful as they are complex. But if they are of a mind to clear as much room as possible, they could waive and stretch the remaining season on Aminu's contract, paying him out roughly $3.4 million annually over the next three years. That would eat marginally into future cap space, but open up close to $7 million this season.
For now, he is set to join Zach LaVine, Nikola Vučević, Patrick Williams, Coby White and Troy Brown Jr. as the only players with fully guaranteed salaries for 2021-22.