As the Bulls off-loaded salaries to free up cap space in anticipation of a big free-agent signing, they got especially aggressive and made several big trades.

Unfortunately for Chicago, the three biggest free agents signed with the Heat, leaving the Bulls with roughly $18 million in cap space for the 2010-2011 season.

In light of that, the Bulls now regret trading mascot Benny the Bull to Dallas in exchange for a second-round pick next year.

“Losing Benny was tough,” said Bulls GM Gar Forman. “Fans loved that thing.”

Forman hoped fans would be relieved to know the inflatable Benny the Bull that periodically drops T-shirts into the crowd at games was not traded, just the dancing one that often scares children and mocks opposing teams during their huddles.

Forman had a different opinion about his team’s decision to trade Kirk Hinrich to the Wizards.

“That guy was making $9 million a year,” said Forman. “Can you imagine? That’s like a dollar an airball for him.”

From the July 2010 issue by Brad Zibung. Click here to subscribe today!