Free Agent Watch: A potential punch to the face

Remember that “free agent summit” that everybody was wigging out about but then supposedly wasn’t going to happen after all?

Well, it happened. Sort of.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard and Marc Stein: “A modified version of the ballyhooed free-agent summit that was initially suggested and then downplayed by Dwyane Wade has indeed taken place, has learned. Sources close to the situation said Monday night that three of the biggest names in basketball — Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James — met over the weekend in Miami to seriously discuss their futures, with a focus on the increasingly plausible possibility of those three teaming up with Wade’s Heat.”

But wait. It gets worse.

The report continues: “Earlier Monday, Fox Sports Radio’s Stephen A. Smith reported on his morning radio show and via his Twitter feed that James and Bosh have committed to joining Wade in Miami.”

But wait. Again. There’s more.

According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel: “A source close to Wade said the Heat guard believes his team is poised to pull off a free-agency coup of landing himself, James and Bosh.”

Of course, Winderman also wrote: “However that same source, as well as a party inside the league, told the Sun Sentinel that Wade also plans to cover himself during the initial days of the free-agency negotiating period by scheduling interviews with the New York Knicks, Chicago Bulls, and, in somewhat of a surprise, the Dallas Mavericks.”

Really, Dwyane? I thought the Bulls weren’t loyal enough for you.

According to Mike McGraw of the Daily Herald: “This might be news to the Bulls. A source familiar with the situation does not think the Bulls have plans to meet with Wade. When the plan was hatched to create cap space for the summer of 2010, the Bulls thought they had a reasonable chance to sign Wade. Now they might see the pursuit as a waste of time, though things could always change if Wade waves the olive branch.”

Meanwhile, Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports is reporting tension in LeBron’s camp of advisors and insiders: “To team executives in the chase and those familiar with the dynamics of James’ inner circle, World Wide Wes’ agenda is clear: Get LeBron out of Cleveland and push himself into a prominent place of power. To be considered the architect of the sports grandest transaction, World Wide Wes needs James out of the clutches of the Cavaliers. … This is the push and pull on the inside of Team LeBron, sources say — agendas colliding in self-interest as the start of free agency creeps closer on Thursday. In the end, James is too strong to let someone else make a decision for him, but there remains strong influences deeply immersed in this process with him.

“If LeBron leaves, Wes is going to get carte blanche wherever he signs,” one source said. “He’s going to have the run of the place, and he doesn’t have that in Cleveland. He has access there, but Maverick Carter is the guy with the keys there. … [Carter’s] much more influential, and would always be in Cleveland.”

Ugh. What does it all mean?

I have no idea. Nobody — other than the players — has any idea. Heck, the players may not have any idea at this point. The rumors have reached Chaos Dunk levels. Seriously, I think the next rumor might rip a hole in reality or cause the sun to collapse. That’s the point we’re getting to. Or maybe we’re there already.

The bummer for Bulls fans is that expectations have reached crazy proportions. Before, many people were merely hoping to add an All-Star…a Wade or a Bosh. Then LeBron seemed attainable. Then the Bulls made a deal to trade Kirk Hinrich to the Wizards and suddenly it was LeBron and Bosh.

What if after all these wild hopes and dreams the Bulls ended up with, say, Carlos Boozer and Joe Johnson? Or only Boozer or Johnson? Or…nobody. That would be a pretty big downer.

Sword of Damocles anyone?

Of course, all these rumors miss the point that the Heat don’t have the money necessary to give Wade, LeBron and Bosh max deals. In fact, unless they move Luol Deng or James Johnson, the Bulls couldn’t sign LeBron and Bosh to the max either. All of which means — whether they decided to go to Miami or come to Chicago — these megastars would have to take less than they (and many other people) think they’re worth.

All we can do is wait and keep watching.

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37 Responses to Free Agent Watch: A potential punch to the face

    peruvianidol June 29, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    This would be terrible. If LeBron and Bosh sign with Miami, it doesn’t really matter who we sign. We’ll be playing for second place in the East. Boozer and Johnson will both turn 30 next year, so signing them to long-term deals sounds like a terrible idea. I’d rather go after guys like Lee and Gay (or even Morrow) who would come cheaper and actually have room to improve. But let’s not rule out LeBron+Bosh until it’s official. I really don’t want to think about Plan B.

    Aaron June 29, 2010 at 2:53 pm #

    Bulls should go all out and go after Bosh. A scoring PF is a must. Once they have Bosh in the fold then we can go after Joe Johnson or Lebron.
    I know everyone says everything starts with Lebron but if Lebron sees the Bulls sign Bosh he may be persuaded to sign with the Bulls. If not, Joe Johnson to play SG is not a bad fall back.
    I seriously think it all comes down to Bosh.

  3. June 29, 2010 at 2:57 pm #

    The Bulls are setting themselves up for either a great summer of signing 1 or 2 max free agents or a summer with great let down. If several of the big name free agents commit elsewhere and not Chicago, that gives the Bulls nothing but cap space which they may go blow on players that aren’t deserving of the money the Bulls would offer. The one positive no matter how free agency pans out is the core of Rose and Noah (maybe throw Taj in there if he continues to develop and doesn’t get traded)

    BoppinBob June 29, 2010 at 3:32 pm #

    I agree with Aaron that Bosh should be the first option/goal for the Bulls, it would fill the biggest need the Bulls have a front line scoring opyion. With Hinrich gone, the Bulls need to find 2 guards that can play 25 to 35 minutes. I am not sure LeBron fills that need. I am not sure if he is interested in playing out of position. The next best option might be Joe Johnson or much as I hate to say it Rudy Gay. I least we are getting close to the end of this circus.

  5. PTFC June 29, 2010 at 4:13 pm #

    This is a classic situation where the hype level has increase but the reality of things really has not. It’s great for news sources so they can have something more juicy to talk about and get ratings/viewers. But the reality is this “summit”, we were all aware it was going to happen eventually and now it did. It was expected. Miami was always right up there at the top at landing these FA’s. The Bulls are still right there as well. Lebron wouldn’t verbally commit during the summit and said he wants to meet with other teams (one being Chicago). Alot more hype but no real new changes in reality or expectations.

    I agree with others that a smart/intelligent move by Bulls management is at the end of the day lock up Bosh. The Bulls really need a scoring big man, badly. They have Rose, Deng, and whomever they get for a shooting guard to score enough points outside the paint. A solid SG plus Bosh equals title contender as well. Rose will continue to become a better all around player, he’s just getting started. To me I dont know how much Wade is better then Rose anymore. I have Rose near Wade status. So Rose, SG, Deng, Bosh, Noah is definitely a title contender and I can’t see them in the next 5-6 years not winning atleast one title. A dynasty? maybe not. Lebron+Bosh gives you the dynasty. But can beggers be choosers?

    Savage June 29, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    I also agree with Aaron. We need to go full court press after Bosh throw the best pitch possible right when Free Agency starts. Make him fill like the first/most important option. If we get Bosh, I think we have a great chance to get LBJ. If not him then Johnson then we have Bosh and Johnson which would put us in contention. Either was we need a force down low and if we get Bosh it helps our team and greatly increases our chances of getting another top FA. Bulls top priority should be going after Bosh first and foremost if we get him the rest will fall into place.

    And to Wade in Miami…. Miami has almost no roster even if they add 2 other good FA besides Wade, you need a supporting staff and Miami won’t have the money to provide the depth needed to win a Championship especially if Wade or someone else gets hurt. Think on that. Plus, I’m sorry Miami is a nice place to visit but it is not a city that provides a huge international market for NBA players like LA, Chicago, and NY. I am still pulling for the Front Office to get things done this off season. No matter how crazy it is I have faith that we will be in the spot light again very soon. Lets go Bulls!!

    Shaft822 June 29, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    Couldn’t agree more about going after Bosh with a full court press. Tell him he’s the #1 option. Make him feel the love. It is a better strategy to do as much as possible to secure Bosh than to try to woo both Bosh and LeBron and end up with neither.

    Zack June 29, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    I don’t see why we don’t try to trade for Rasheed Wallace to buy him out and get more under the cap. Hell it would only cost a bag of weed and some Doritos and Sheed would be happy

    Savage June 29, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    We really don’t need more cap room it may be better to keep our talent and have just about enough to sign 2 max players. Our young talent is what gives us the edge I think if we get rid of more it might put us in a situation like Miami where they have absolutely nobody other than Wade making it hard for others to believe a solid team can be made of 3 stars with the rest of the team being bench quality talent. Plus we can do a sign and trade if need be if we want to add even more talent that way.

    BoppinBob June 29, 2010 at 7:43 pm #

    I believe that the Bulls do not think they will get LeBron and therefore elected to trade Hinrich instead of Deng. Without LeBron the Bulls will definitely need Deng. Now the Bulls need to find a SG and a combo guard and focus on Bosh, make him the centerpiece of the FA push and try to get 2 solid guards to fill out the roster (i.e. Blake, Livingston and Kover) and try to get Frye as a backup center.

    Savage June 29, 2010 at 8:04 pm #

    That may have been the case Boppin but I think it may have been more to do with Hinrich only has two years on his front loaded contract and Deng has 4 years making him very hard if not impossible to move.

    TRUTH June 29, 2010 at 8:21 pm #


    Johnny Johnson June 29, 2010 at 9:27 pm #

    As much as i would love to have lebron and bosh this summer, i dont think the bulls have the balls to do it. IF they dont get this deal done, i also agree with many of you fellas that we should focus on bosh and get 1 0r 2 solid SG. Maybe JJ redick or Jason Kapono? Even with that lineup of Rose, JJ, Bosh, Deng, And Noah, I think we would still be top 3 in the east. But TRY TO GET LEBRON AND BOSH FIRST!!!!!!

    Johnny Johnson June 29, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

    As much as i would love to have lebron and bosh this summer, i dont think the bulls have the balls to do it. IF they dont get this deal done, i also agree with many of you fellas that we should focus on bosh and get 1 0r 2 solid SG. Maybe JJ redick or Jason Kapono? Even with that lineup of Rose, JJ, Bosh, Deng, And Noah, I think we would still be top 3 in the east. But TRY TO GET LEBRON AND BOSH FIRST!!!!!

  15. June 29, 2010 at 9:29 pm #

    Signing Bosh would definitely be a great move to start off free agency because then at least we will have something in place. Landing Bosh almost gaurantees us getting another FA, even if Lebron doesn’t come it will certainly attract other players to join the team: Joe Johnson, Ray Allen, Rudy Gay (I hope not), or even someone on a lower scale that would help our team out: Mike Miller, JJ Redick…

  16. BullsFan22 June 29, 2010 at 9:41 pm #

    I definitely want either the Lebron/Bosh or the Lebron/JJ combo. JJ is a better overall defender than most of the FA, save Lebron (even though Lebron isn’t necessarily a knock you socks off defender). C’mon, let’s make this possible! Let’s go GarPax, Reinsdorf, and/or whoever is running the show in Chicago! I want the best of the best!

    Trm3 June 29, 2010 at 10:43 pm #

    Stephen A. Smith is the same guy that said LeBron was going to New York just last he’s saying Miami.

    It’s all rumors right now. Can’t believe one thing or the other right now

    Luke June 29, 2010 at 10:44 pm #

    Screw two max contracts- we aren’t getting 2 top tier guys, whether we are paying two max contracts or not. JoJo doesnt deserve one, only bosh/wade/lebron deserve that kind of money.

    I only see Bosh going where Lebron goes if James goes to Miami with Wade. Otherwise, Bosh wants to be the centerpiece and will wait to see where James goes to make sure he signs somewhere else.

    What I would rather see is the bulls get the value for their buck… even if that means a Lee/JoJo combination and extra cash for some role players. We could save ourselves some room for Melo next year.

    Trm3 June 29, 2010 at 10:45 pm #

    Zack..Rasheed Wallace is retiring, what are u thinking??

    BULL4EVER June 29, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    We Bulls fans can screw that idiotic cry-baby-ass punk known as rasheed wallace because we can totally care less whether he’s lives or dies,but speaking of Chicago stealing LBJ from Cleveland or not it won’t be the end of the world at all for the Bulls because Chicago will totally adjust by signing another high profile free-agent like Bosh,Boozer,Stoudemire,or Johnson if they fail to land the King. GO BULLS.

    inkybreath June 29, 2010 at 11:57 pm #

    I am not so sure that I believe that these guys are just going to stick together. Maybe one or more of them are at this meeting to get an inside on what the others are thinking, just to get some more info … I don’t put any weight on any of this ‘intel’. This may be the greatest disinformation sensation off-season in sports history?

  22. zobel43 June 30, 2010 at 3:21 am #

    I agree with inkybreath, almost all of this is rumors. I think that if we can get Bosh and possibly another guard or 2 we could definitely be in the mix for a championship. The worst thing the Bulls could do is spend all their money on players that don’t deserve it like they did with Ben Wallace. We can not settle for those kinds players. We can get another guy next year. All the hype that has been created has put fans in the position to get let down.

    Trm3 June 30, 2010 at 3:52 am #

    I for one can’t see LeBron going all in on the Miami train with Bosh and Wade, yes it all sounds great and prolly would be nice to play with ur friends but LeBron seems like the guy that would want most of the credit of winning a title. Knowing that he had to have Wade AND Bosh would say add to the fact if they all signed with Miami they would have no money for reserves or any kind of bench. All their money would be gone and their lineup would be Chalmers, Wade, James, Beasley and Bosh..and no bench, cause they have no more money.

    As for James and Bosh going to Chicago..I’m not so keen on that either. I want either or..I think if they both came Bosh’s feeling would get hurt cause he wouldn’t be getting his stats (He seems like that kinda guy)..I say try and sign one or the other and depending on which one.. fill in with a nice SG or complimentary PF then build our bench.

    Just my need to be greedy when were right there as a title team.

    Kshizzle June 30, 2010 at 6:01 am #

    I’ll be glad when this mess is over. I am tired of hearing about it really.

    In other news, I am looking forward to The Last Airbender coming out. More so than what the heck these guys do. It’s starting to get pathetic now. I will say, (as I have said in another thread) that I am so proud the Bulls Organization has remained classy throughout this whole period. We didn’t whore ourselves out like the Knicks and other ballclubs have by planning extravagant parties and having celebs say why they should play here. We’ll be fine with or without these guys. At first I was excited, but now I am just burned out.

    Dj June 30, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    Thank you peruvianidol, that is what I been saying this hole summer!!! The only guys that are worth MAX CONTRACT are: LEBRON JAMES AND CHRIS BOSH. (WADE is also another guys but, F**K him! lol)

    Other Star players like: Amare, Boozer and Joe Johnson are not worth MAX contracts. If the Bulls would have to sign one of these guys I would take none of them, unless they are willing to drop their prices.

    Just like I keep saying if Plan A fails, I rather sign: Rudy Gay and David Lee for less money as Plan B. Then I would go after (A. Morrow or Kyle Korver) as my starting SG and sign other solid bench players like: (SG:Rodney Carney or Shaun Livingston), (SF:Travis Outlaw or Mike Miller), (PG:Steve Blake or Chris Duhon), (G:Acie Law or Luther Head), (PF:Channing Frye or Drew Gooden) and (C:Omer Asik or Kwame Brown) to complete my 13 man roster to help J.J and Taj Gibson.

    Max June 30, 2010 at 7:26 am #

    Why would you concede to the Heat if they were able to pull off the deal? Ignoring the fact that the HEAT don’t have enough money to sign three Max Deals. People seem to neglect that fact. So they get three superstars. Who will they play with? Chalmers? Beasley? What money do they have to sign anybody else with? Last time I checked it takes 5 to field a squad.

    So even if the Bulls don’t get Lebron or Bosh why would you suggest we roll over and die? I’m not talking to you DJ so please don’t respond. The timberwolves are reportedly trying to get Gay and may offer him a Max Deal. So how would that be cheaper? But no Max deal for proven All-Stars? So a starting five of Rose, Johnson, Deng, Amare, and Noah wouldn’t be able to compete against the Heat?

    Not that I in any way want this to happen. I want Lebron and another top level player. But if Pat Riley pulls this out of his ass someway then I am not aboard the lets field a team to get us to the 2nd round of the playoffs. That is what Gay and Lee are. 2nd tier players.

    Trm3 June 30, 2010 at 9:56 am #

    DJ, I can’t believe u just mentioned Kwame Brown..he sucks. We already tried the Drew Gooden experiment too, he sucked, Channing Frye? I don’t want a guy that will disappear and will shoot 0-17 at some point in the playoffs when u need someone to step up to knock down a couple of shots. So no Frye..there’s 2 names u did mention that I did like and could be good backups to Rose and that’s Blake and Duhon.

    Blake I really like, just seemed like everytime we played Portland he was hitting three’s all day against us. Can’t remember who he got traded to but I do like him. Duhon, I just like and have always wanted him back.

    Sorry DJ, not pickin on u..just don’t mention Kwame Brown or Drew Gooden, both are not good.

    peruvianidol June 30, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Johnson and Amare aren’t worth max deals either. My point is that long-term, you don’t want to have a 34-year-old Joe Johnson on your roster making $20M. Amare would only be 32 at the end of his contract, but with his history of injuries, is he worth the risk? If the T’Wolves want to give Gay max money, let them. I’m saying I’d rather get younger guys for less money and add other supporting players to surround Rose, who could easily be on the same level as Bosh/LeBron/Wade in 5 years.

    BoppinBob June 30, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Max, I agree with you, if we don’t get LBJ we don’t need Gay, he is a 3, we have Deng. If we don’t get Bosh, Lee would fill a need, though he may not leave NY (the Knicks can offer him a longer contract and more money). If we get Bosh, we still need a starting guard and a quality bench if the Bulls want to be contenders.

    Dj July 1, 2010 at 6:04 am #

    Peruvianidol thank you again for that smart comment, I totally agree with you! Dude, where have you been to back me up with my similar idea like yours? lol

    Anyways, to get back on Trm3 comment,
    I said they are solid BACKUP BENCH players! (meaning they won’t play a lot of minutes.) And most of those players that I mention have a lot of NBA experience on their resume, if we go with plan B: Rudy Gay and David Lee to mid level contracts (if Lebron and Bosh don’t come to Chicago.)

    Sorry Max, not to pick on you as well but, last time I check from ESPN and other websites, others teams beside the timberwolves are also interest in Rudy Gay, if their plans fails this summer in signing a top super star player like: Lebron, Amare, Joe Johnson, Wade or Boozer.

    And what makes you think that the Chicago Bulls do not have Rudy Gay and David Lee as their back-up plans? (If Lebron James or Chris Bosh don’t come to Chicago?) Remember, the Bulls don’t want any more risk injury type of players or older guys (like: Ben Wallance for example) and give them max contracts. The only guys on the Bulls lists that are worth max contracts are: Lebron James, Chris Bosh, D. Wade and nobody else!

    And if they do plan on signing Amare or Joe Johnson they are going to have to lower their prices if they want to join the Bulls team.

    o0o and Boppinbob, we can always trade Deng for Rudy Gay or trade Deng to another team, so we can sign Rudy Gay as our upgrade SF. (Just like Lebron James if we sign him, we are still going to have to move Deng anyways!) As for David Lee trust me, he will want to leave NY since what they did to him last season by playing around with his money.

    Max July 1, 2010 at 11:29 pm #

    It makes me so happy to say this…..Rudy Gay Gay signed a MAX contract with the Grizzlies…..So what were you saying about him being a cheap option for the Bulls DJ??????? Looks like you don’t know shit…..again

    dinesh July 2, 2010 at 2:08 am #

    i remained a bulls fan after jordan pippen and my favorite 3 pt shooter left steve kerr, i seen the bulls draft ron artest, get jalen rose, antonio davis and jerome williams but i think the bulls should get chris bosh or david lee and joe johnson or ray allen we need to dump james johnson real talk

    DJ July 2, 2010 at 3:39 am #

    So what is your point now Max? that does not mean jack, they can always trade him away if they want to and I never said we should offer him money by stealing him away from Memphis you dumb ass. I said the Bulls should do a sign and trade deal with Deng as a BACK UP PLAN if Lebron James does not come to Chicago but, I am also hoping and crossing my fingers that we sign Lebron James and Chris Bosh this summer!

    Max July 2, 2010 at 3:55 am #

    Yeah I knew you would not be man enough to back up that shit you were talking a few months ago……

    mike July 3, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    go max lol tell dj or garcia or lopeass who ever he is?

    Dj July 4, 2010 at 2:46 am #

    huh??? what are you talking about now Max? if anyone here is not man enough to back things up it is u! did I or did I not said I want to get Rudy Gay in a sign and trade deal if we don’t get Lebron James? that is what I thought Max! keep ur mouth shut.

    @ Mike
    who the hell are you? is that you again Max? making up another account name? (Lame ass!) get a life! lol


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