If you were hoping the Bulls would have secured at least one big name free agent during the first day of this year’s free agent bonanza, you must be pretty disappointed.
One bit of very good news is that the Bulls won’t be tempted to overpay for Joe Johnson in a “Plan B, C, or D” scenario. The Hawks have made sure of that: “The Atlanta Hawks have offered free agent Joe Johnson a maximum six-year contract worth $119 million, and sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Chris Broussard that Johnson is all but sure to accept.”
I give it, oh, about a year before the Hawks start bitterly regretting that move. Maybe less. Okay, probably less.
Meanwhile, a five-year, $80 million deal will apparently keep Rudy Gay in Memphis. Another terrible deal in which an overrated player will be criminally overpaid…as perfectly explained by Kelly Dwyer of Ball Don’t Lie.
But better Gay is overpaid by the Grizzlies than the Bulls, right?
In other “making it rain” news, Amir Johnson is getting $34 million from the Toronto Raptors, Channing Frye is getting $30 million from the Phoenix Suns, and Darko Milicic is getting $20 million from the Minnesota Timberwolves.
That wasn’t a typo: $20 million for Darko Milicic. It’s like a free agent feeding frenzy out there.
As for the Bulls…
Meeting with Dwyane Wade? Check.
Meeting with Carlos Boozer? Also check.
Meeting with Chris Bosh? It’s happening today. (In addition to a meeting with David Lee, for what it’s worth.)
Meeting with Amar’e Stoudemire? It’s going to happen on Tuesday — if necessary — according to a tweet from Phoenix radio host John Gambadoro.
The big namers are doing what they have to do: They aren’t showing their hands. There’s no indication whatsoever what LeBron, D-Wade or Bosh are going to do. Ditto for Boozer and Stoudemire (although their names aren’t quite as big as the first three). They say no news is good news. But no news is making a lot of Chicago fans nervous.
Why the nerves? Maybe that’s best explained by a rant from By The Horns reader AK Dave (although he made this comment on Basketbawful):
But jeez, I mean, the Bulls have had some excuse or another every year ever since MJ left.
“The team is rebuilding in the wake of Jordan leaving- give them a few years!”
“The team is young but Kirk/Deng/Nocioni are going to be All-Stars — give them a little time!”
“The team is injured — wait till next year!”
“The team is adjusting to its newly acquired free agents and hasn’t fully integrated them yet — but wait until next year!”
“The coach sucks and players aren’t living up to expectations and the injury bug has bitten and the GM has punched the coach in the face and everyone is playing out-of-position and the Cavs have LeBron… but JUST WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR!!”
I’m just saying. I am a Bulls fan, but the excuses are getting old. And these are issues that EVERY team in the NBA deals with on some level. But its been 12 years since MJ left, and its really time for the Bulls to put up or shut up.
It’s true. Bulls fans have been “waiting until next year” ever since Jordan entered his second retirement. That mantra may be chicken soup for the Cubs fan’s soul, but the souls of Bulls fans everywhere is starting to starve out.
Which is making this wait really difficult.