Let's say GarPaxDorf suddenly decided not to pay the tax. In order to achieve that, they need to dump Rip and sign Nate to a lower guaranteed salary.
Lowering Nate's Salary
They cut off Nate after the bucks game(1/9/13) and sign him to a 10 day contract. Teams are allowed to sign a player to a 10 day contract twice, so Nate is expected to be on 10 day contracts until the all-star break.
Players minimum prorated value after the all-star break is 59/170 or 0.347of veteran minimum rate. Players salary is adjusted to the number of days left in the season, divided by the total number of days within the season. Nate's salary would be $397,847 instead of $1,146,337.
Note: Marco Jaric or Jannero Pargo could fill in via 10 day contract if needed.
Dump Rip before the trade deadline(2/21/13)
Houston seems to be poised to make a playoff appearance. But they don't have a bench, and Rip could provide them just that. Rip is a NBA champ who can help the Rockets in their playoff hunt this seaso.
Rip basically gives the Rockets a rotation. He can play SF together with Harden, since he doesn't need to ball in his hands to be effective. Harden-Rip or Rip-Parson is a good pair to play alongside Lin.
Acquiring Rip is a low risk, high reward move for the rockets. They can choose to rent his bench scoring this season, as they can very well afford his $1M guaranteed next season.
At this point, the Bulls payroll stands at $68.89M committed to 12 players in Rose, Belinelli, Deng, Boozer, Noah, Hinrich, Butler, Radmanovic, Gibson Mohammed, Robinson and Teague. They basically have $1.41M to spent for last three remaining spot in the roster, before they hit the tax mark.
A ten year veteran would be have a minimum salary of $437,471 after the trade deadline. Let's say Maurice Evans to replace Rip and two other bigs. The bigs could be Fesenko or some vet that would be bought out by other teams like Lou Amundson.
Bulls 2012-13 $70.2M projected roster
S: D.Rose, Belinelli, Deng, Boozer and Noah
B: Hinrich, M.Evans, Butler, Gibson and Mohammed
R: Nate, Teague, Radmanovic, Amundson and Fesenko