Free Agent Watch: Disaster looms



Epic failure.

You can feel it coming can’t you? Hear it clawing and scratching under your bed. Hiding in your closet. Looming around the corner. Stalking in the shadows.

It’s not going to happen. That’s the fear. has published an article called: Q&A: Where will top free agents land? In this article, various experts — J.A. Adande, Kevin Arnovitz, Chad Ford, John Hollinger, Chris Sheridan and Marc Stein — rated the percentage chance various teams have of landing one of the Three Great White Whales of NBA Free Agency.

According to the experts, things aren’t looking very good for the Bulls. Unless you were hoping for an all-out swing followed by a near apocalyptic whiff.

The very general (and admittedly fluid) consensus is that LeBron James will remain in Cleveland while Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh will sign with the Miami Heat. Anything could still happen, but as’s Jon Greenberg put it: “These aren’t guaranteed scenarios culled from sources, just educated guesses contingent on real-world scenarios.”

Sentiment and a team of pro-Cleveland advisors are tugging on LeBron’s heart strings. Miami has plenty of money, awesome weather, and — most importantly — Wade’s loyalty. Bosh and Wade have the same agent.

Does Chicago offer these men a better chance at winning? Probably. But no matter what players like to say during dramatic playoff runs, winning really isn’t everything.

And LeBron, for instance, has a lot on his mind.

According to Brian Windhorst of the Cleveland Plain Dealer: “He really likes Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. But there’s lack of shooters on roster. Also it doesn’t sound like he’s exactly being welcomed by Rose. Didn’t say Rose was anti-LeBron. But the word is preference was Joe Johnson. They have same agent. That is what multiple people tell me.”

Windhorst further reports a rift in LeBron’s team of advisors, with William Wesley (who was pushing Chicago) now standing on the outside looking in at James’ friends and agent Maverick Carter (who want him to stay in Cleveland). That rift bodes very poorly for the Bulls’ chances of landing The Greatest White Whale of them all.

At any rate, at least the wait should be over soon: “LeBron James is planning to announce the team with which he will sign during a one-hour special on ESPN Thursday night, ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard has learned through independent sources. ESPN would only confirm that active discussions for the special are ongoing. But sources tell Broussard that representatives for James contacted the network, proposing that James makes his announcement during a 9 p.m. ET special.”

So, by 8 p.m. Chicago time tomorrow night, we’ll know for sure whether Michael Jordan’s legacy in Chicago will be forever secure. Okay, it probably was already, but a team with LeBron, Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and possibly Chris Bosh could have introduced a little doubt into the situation.

Instead, the Bulls are looking at a “Now what?” scenario.

With Joe Johnson staying in Atlanta and Amar’e Stoudemire heading to New York, that leaves the Bulls with a few “okay” options and a lot of holes. If LeBron, Wade and Bosh reject the Windy City, management will probably pursue the undersized Carlos Boozer and the defenseless David Lee. Maybe target shooters like Kyle Korver and Mike Miller. Guys like J.J. Redick, Ronnie Brewer and Shannon Brown are available as well…

…it’s like a punch to the gut isn’t it?

If this doesn’t work out, if the Bulls can’t sign at least one of the Great White Whales, there won’t be any championship hope in the near future. Maybe not even the distant future. Gar Forman is going to have to fill out a half-empty roster with warm bodies. Rose and Noah are going to have to be extended or re-signed in the next year or so, which means the team isn’t going to have vast millions to throw around at superduperstar free agents.

Look, I am a huge fan of Rose and Noah. Watching them help carry an overachieving team to the playoffs the last two seasons has been a blast. But who wants the team to keep sneaking into the postseason only to suffer a first round elimination year after year? The Bulls have been doing that for most of the last decade.

They could be doing it for most of the next decade too. It’s a depressing thought.

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38 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Disaster looms

  1. Justin July 7, 2010 at 1:01 pm #

    This is so gay chicago screws up again.

  2. likemike July 7, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

    no one wants to play for the bulls I wonder why? Could it be the owner?

    inkybreath July 7, 2010 at 1:29 pm #

    This has been so much more about the player than the teams, that I can’t put a lot of blame on the organization, if this ‘dream’ doesn’t come true. What else were they supposed to do?

    I am not sold on the speculation, but we are coming down to the wire and, yes, there is a bit of a sinking feeling.

    Still, it will be awesome to have a seriously talented low-post scorer like Boozer in the flow, alongside some knock-down shooter. Hell, Lee is 20/10, just like Bosh and is a former Gator, like Noah and though he is not lauded for defense – no one is on a D’Antoni team.

    We are about to improve this team, greatly.

    And, I am not afraid of Miami upgrading on Jermaine O’Neal and almost nothing else. Or so afraid of Bron’s Cleveland that we took to the edge without a clue or a timeout play to go to.

    Let the chips fall – this is not basic math, here. We are going to have some serious fun in the year to come.

  4. vince July 7, 2010 at 1:43 pm #

    We have no shooting gaurd. This was the bulls plan for the last two years. To build a championship team though free agency. Carlos Boozer and David Lee is not a dominating player compared to Amare, Bosh, Wade and Lebron. Carlos Boozer and David Lee will not bring the Bulls to a championship level. They will be a 7th or 8th seed again for years. This would never sit well with to the Lakers organization but with the Bulls, they are HAPPY with being a middle of the road team as long as Riensdorf makes a ton of money. Riensdorf, please prove me wrong.

    BULL4EVER July 7, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    Disaster looms, yeah okay what disaster??????because Chicago will totally adjust as they always have when getting shut out out on high-profile free-agent stars.LBJ,Bosh and Wade don’t even want to win NBA titles by coming to the Windy City because they want all the money they can get their hands on no matter what and Chicago has always paid less money to their superstars by having them win first and paying them later.Chicago has never at all fallen for these totally idiotc games where you overpay superstar prospects and they don’t even play a lickfor you no matter what and that’s how most of these professional prospects are.The Bulls have always been the most loyal organization in sports and they will use up most of their money to pay D’Rose and Noah until Chicago finally starts having free-agent prospects to play for Chicago. GO BULLS

    chachacha July 7, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

    Somewhere Sam Smith is crying…

  7. chad July 7, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    no wade or bosh, looks like its time to settle for boozer or lee, better get someone who can shoot and defend.

    John July 7, 2010 at 2:05 pm #

    I don’t buy the disaster talk, either. If the Bulls add Lee or Boozer and one or two shooters they’ll be in a position to make a solid run at the EC Finals next year, and maybe even win it, with plenty of cap room to make a run at some of the 2011 free agents, too.

    That said I really wish they hadn’t dumped Hinrich.

    Nicky C July 7, 2010 at 2:15 pm #

    You know that wretched pain you get in your stomach when you know something awful is on the horizon? Yeah…

    We can’t blame the organization for putting all their eggs into one basket. It looked like it was going to work! Virtually every single NBA afficionado had at least one marqee player coming to Chicago (including Simmons,Wilbon, Broussard, Abbott, and Stein).

    If we don’t get LeBron, Wade, or Bosh, this whole experience amounts to epic failure proportions, but I am glad we tried. However, that awful feeling of impending doom – another five to ten years of mediocrity while attempting to overachieve – is lurking in my insides…

    chibugey July 7, 2010 at 2:21 pm #

    man chicago still has a great team. i dont understand how players could skip that and go to a team with no one on their roster. but any way chicago needs the shooters more then they did wade and or james. and a nice pf and that team will still be ok. they need some help right now. thats one problem when you wait on players and not go after other players to. the bulls did what they had to do. and i will be at the games still. side note if they would have gotten those playes bron, bosh, or wade those tickets would have been crazy

    BallinAllDay July 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm #

    Chicago will be straight regardless…We are going to use the millions we would have spent on Bron/Wade/Bosh to bring in Boozer to fill the void down low, and R.Allen + JJ Reddick to hit shots, re-sign Miller to backup Noah and get another PG to back up Rose. I will take a starting lineup of DROSE, Allen, Deng, Boozer, Noah with Gibson, Reddick, and JJohnson coming off the bench any day! GO BULLS!!!

    C-Lo_The_Great July 7, 2010 at 2:36 pm #

    well trading captain kirk and wasting the 17th pick looks real bad now maybe the bulls find another diamond in the rough through the next upcoming drafts but we will be fine with rose noah and deng

    Dj July 7, 2010 at 2:44 pm #

    I hate to repeat myself but, I kind of told u so that Lebron James, D. Wade and Chris Bosh were not coming to Chicago. Just when I was starting to built some hope that it could happen. That is y I repeated myself in the past saying “we should target Rudy Gay and David as our plan B.” And now since I am so depress as a fan, I don’t think we can’t even get Rudy Gay in a trade deal. I still think we can sign David Lee over Boozer and other solid player but, it will not be the same. Moving Hinrich and our 1 round draft pick for nothing looks like a big lost now.

  14. vince July 7, 2010 at 2:52 pm #

    Word has it that Ray Allen is going back to the Celtics becuase everyone else is coming back next year including Doc Rivers for another run. Anyways, he was become less and less effective over the years. So one or our big free agent signees might be JJ Reddick. Whatever!!! ANTHONY MORROW from Golden State, a lights out shooter with potential, should be pursued.

    JNinKC July 7, 2010 at 3:00 pm #

    Better get busy . . . RIGHT NOW! Why not both Lee and Boozer and a lights out shooter?

  16. OnSomeBull July 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm #

    Not picking up any of the top three players is definitely disappointing but at least management tried to make things happen. If we can still get Lee, I’ll be ok with that just as long as we don’t overpay and we save room for Carmelo next year. We should’ve resigned Gordon last year. Rose’s game would’ve improved dramatically with Gordon. But I’m sure you guy all would disagree. Oh well…8th seed again (that’s exciting). I just hope Lebron doesn’t sign with the heat because it will won’t be fun to watch the NBA for the next couple of seasons.

    mike July 7, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    dj u are right from what im hearing lee is not comeing her either …. and boozer as well … so we killed the depth on this roster for nothing great job guys..

  18. TexasBearsFan July 7, 2010 at 3:37 pm #

    Yeah, yeah yeah, hindsight it always 20/20. When the big names were on the board, you all couldn’t move Heinrich fast enough. Now that they’re not, you’re saying you knew it all along, as though as little as 2 days ago you weren’t half-assured that we’d land 2 big free agents.

    Trm3 July 7, 2010 at 4:04 pm #

    So DJ, u wanted us to offer Rudy Gay 80 million? Cause that’s what it was gonna take to get him from Memphis as they overpaid him. I don’t think so. And ur Lee isn’t off the market but I think we probably have Boozer higher than him.

    I don’t get blaming the organization. They went out and tried. Reinsdorf even said he was willing to pay the luxury tax..but obviously, these guys aren’t about winning cause Chicago would have been the wise choice.

    All is not lost..we just better not be waiting for James

  20. Steve July 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm #

    I am usually not really negative….but if you think that Boozer and some shooters will land us in the EC FInals, you all are delusional and very much so. ONe body and some shooters would only move us up one round, if that. NOw, in the best case scenario, we turn into the Jazz (instead more offensively challenged) of the EC. Would u like to be them? We will have no way to get better outside of trade after this. Hopefully LeBron wants to BEAT the heat and come here, but im not holding my breath.

  21. Steve July 7, 2010 at 4:21 pm #

    But then again I never thought any of them would come. ESPN hyped me all up. Nobody likes Reinsdorf, thats the bottom line. he’s a baseball guy.

    Aaron July 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm #

    Lee or Boozer are both great pick and roll players. Teaming them with Rose will do wonders.

    Sign Lee over Boozer.
    Sign Allen, JJ Riddick, Mike Miller or Korver for starting SG (prefer JJ).
    Sign Flip Murray to back up the 1 and 2.
    Sign Brad Miller, Chris Richard on the cheap to back up the 4/5.

    Starting 5:
    PG: Rose
    SG: Riddick
    SF: Deng
    PF: Lee/Boozer
    C: Noah


    Man, I wanted Lebron but all is not lost. Rose and Noah will continue to blosom. Gibson is a sleeper too. He will get better and will be a 15-16ppg/8-10rpg guy for a long time to come.
    And Rudy Gay is WAY overpaid. No thanks.

  23. Steve July 7, 2010 at 4:25 pm #

    O and Allen is NOT who we need, he a bit too old (unless its for a BIG discount, which wont happen). Lets get Mike Miller to a short term deal and not overpay for Boozer. Korver, Miller and Shannon Brown for the bench.

  24. Steve July 7, 2010 at 4:26 pm #

    @aaron…Flip IS NOT a point guard. Trust me.

    Patrick July 7, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

    I am not worried at all. We went to the playoffs last year, and albeit by the, skin of our teeth. I mean we have to look at it this way. Lebron has yet to win a championship. If he goes back to Cleveland he will never win a championship. Bosh and Wade won’t work because they will have barely anyone around them that would be considered a supporting cast. We will be fine. There are still viable options out there even if Lee and Boozer do not pan out. There is still Scola, Jefferson, Redick, etc, etc, You can have an all-star team for your team, but it still does not mean you will be able to win a championship. I am not worried at all. We will be fine. Also, don’t blame the organization. They took a chance. You would be upset if we had not taken the chance. Can’t have it both ways.

    Jeremy July 7, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    The sad thing is that I wanted Bosh more than Wade or James. He would have been perfect and wouldn’t have hindered the development of Rose. Even when it looked like James or Wade was coming, I was torn be cause of Rose. Now I hope he does develop into a superstar!

    Dj July 7, 2010 at 5:20 pm #

    I actually kinda agree with Aaron, I rather take David Lee over Carlos Loozer lol b-cuz of his health issues, age and money. In other words David Lee is a healthier, young player and he is not going to ask for that much money like Boozer.

    Then I rather sign: Mike Miller or Kyle Korver for height advantages against other players like: Kobe and Wade for example. Don’t get me wrong I like J.J but he is to small for a SG like B. Gordan.

    PG: D. Rose
    SG: Mike Miller or Kyle Korver
    SF: L. Deng
    PF: D. Lee
    C: J. Noah
    SG:Tony Allen or PG:Shaun Livingston
    C:Brendan Haywood or C:Darko Milicic or C:Omer Asik
    SF:Travis Outlaw or SF:Joe Alexander
    PG:Sergio Rodriguez or PG:Shannon Brown
    PF-C: Chris Richard
    PG: Acie Law
    SF: James Johnson
    PF: Taj Gibson

    It may not be the best roster that I came up with but, it will do the job for us to make the playoffs again, then hopefully we can get a better deal before the trading deadline of 2011 for someone like: Carmelo Anthony!

    reef July 7, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    Derrick Rose is a true star….hes going to put the Bulls on his back…just add David Lee and Ashton Kutcher(Kyle Korver)…ill rather have those 2 other then Boozer and Miller because of health and size issues…then afterwards fill out the roster with some more selfless players…reddick would be great off the bench with a good point guard…we already have taj gibson james johnson and omer asik off the bench…just resign brad miller and we would be a better team

  29. PTFC July 7, 2010 at 7:02 pm #

    I still really don’t believe Lebron is staying in Cleveland. All the hoopla, not immediately signing with Cleveland, interviews with 6 teams, days and days of pondering, a last ditch effort to make cleveland make some moves (which they failed at), I can’t see all this happening only for him to just stay in Cleveland. Obviously his mindset is I need to go somewhere that has a better situation to win OR cleveland needs to make moves to better the situation to win. Cleveland has not done this. So does Lebron just go back to the same team and the same situation as other teams got better? How in the world does he win a ring now? Do the Cavs even get out of the first round? Does Lebron enjoy losing?

    There’s no way Lebron has not thought about all these things. Heck, even if the Bulls get Boozer and 3 point shooter to go with Rose, Deng, Gibson, Noah, THAT team can beat the Cavs (not joking).

    The press conference is not going to be in Ohio but at a “neutral site”. So he’s leaving. But how can he leave and break the heart of his fans and home state if he just goes to a team that is in a worse situaiton (NY and NJ). He can’t, that would be beyond insulting (as well as make no logical sense). Ego wise, legacy wise, business wise, he won’t go play in Miami.

  30. mike July 7, 2010 at 8:37 pm #

    qi was reading most of these comments and it got me thinking why not sign boozer or lee and for a shooter why not trade for mo williams. i think mo is very overrated but he is a good shooter he is not a point guard and thats what he has been playing for the last few years. a starting 5 of:


    i think that these 5 would be better than most of the starting 5 in the eastern conference.

    inkybreath July 7, 2010 at 10:33 pm #

    Jesus, what the hell were they supposed to do? This was a freaking cult of personality circus and some of you guys act like there was something they didn’t do to get these BIG guys.

    Screw them for not coming here. Clearly, they are not as interested in winning, as we might have guessed. So what? We are going to have a very talented team – more talented than in any time of late …

    I’m sick of it. I don’t need a fooking championship to make me happy as a fan. I need good basketball and some real hope of something amazing to happen in the playoffs.

    You guys want signed, sealed and delivered promises … go cry somewhere else …

    mike July 8, 2010 at 12:10 am #

    inkybreath just in case u didnt here we got boozer so we will have a better team but we are not done yet.. lets see how they fill the rest of the roster

    Jason Biggs July 8, 2010 at 4:08 am #

    @ mike

    Mo william is to small as a SG like BG was before. Mike Miller, Kyle Korver or Anthony Morrow are better options at the starting SG position.

    Jason Biggs July 8, 2010 at 4:10 am #

    Since most SG are really tall in the NBA like: Kobe and Wade for example!

  35. Brian H. - Chicago July 8, 2010 at 8:48 am #

    If Lebron goes to Miami then I cannot wait to boo their asses at the United Center.

    I also am not to bothered by the loss of Kirk H just because he wasn’t that great of a SG, although a good defensive player. He hit his stride and had nothing more to add the organization. Just like Deng, and Ben Gordon, and that is why they were prime choices to be traded and were traded.

    Thank goodness we didn’t keep Ben too. We would of overpaid him if we matched Detroit and gotten his worst performance ever.

    I commend the Bulls organization for putting themselves on the line to land one of the Big three; I believe it shows that they are committed to winning a championship and not content with mediocrity.

    In addition, I think Carlos Boozer was the better choice instead of Lee just for the fact that he is a proven Allstar, and he is someone who played in the Olympics along with great stats – higher in comparison to Lee too. He will add some great inside scoring; however, I don’t see the Bulls passing the 6th seed at best.

    Whoever they get next won’t be signed for too long. I know that in the next few years either in the draft or free agency another great piece will be added to the Chicago Bulls

    DanDaMan July 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm #

    Once again, paxson screws up. i saw this from a mile away…wait on mr. big head and miss out on all the other great opportunities. now there’s all this salary space and nothing worth spending it on. boozer is a good addition but, he is not going to get the Bulls over the hump, especially w/o Hinrich. i think the managment needs to be shaken up since the it was said that the Bulls would come out winners in this whole sherade..they’re dreamers, not doers… 😐

    aaron July 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Definitely not a disaster. Boozer improves this team significantly. Losing Kirk stings a bit, but the bottom line is that he was overpaid and the Bulls should be better off if they make smart moves from here. I’m projecting a lineup below that could be a contender in the East, especially if Derrick continues to ascend into NBA superstardom, and as long as lebron doesn’t team up with wade and bosh then everybody’s screwed:


    Nate Robinson
    Ronnie Brewer
    James Johnson
    Taj Gibson
    Brad Miller

    Maybe get Anthony Morrow too to add another shooter, if he can be had on the cheap. Also Craig Smith would be a nice, inexpensive backup big.

  38. ballout July 8, 2010 at 3:10 pm #

    8.Lebron James to Miami means that the CHICAGO BULLS will be your 2010-11 CENTRAL DIVISION CHAMPIONS and at least a three seed in the eastern conference.

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