Free Agent Watch: No news for the Bulls so far

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 LeBron James? It’s supposed to happen on Saturday…and LeBron expects to make his decision by Monday.

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.

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61 Responses to Free Agent Watch: No news for the Bulls so far

    Troy July 4, 2010 at 6:18 am #


    bullsfandom July 4, 2010 at 3:08 pm #

    BoppinBob – This goes back to the superstar argument. Two Years ago we had 8 solid players for the playoffs (Rose, Gordon, Heinrich, Deng, Tyrus, Noah, Miller, Salmons) yet we couldn’t beat a Celtics team that was missing one of its top players. We fought tooth and nail but we still lost it because in the end we didn’t get enough calls going our way.

    Now lets look at the Celtics. They have at most what? 6 Quality guys? (Rondo, Allen, Pierce, KG, Perkins, Big Baby? Rasheed?) This year they made it all the way to Finals with those guys…because they had star power.

    The real reason the Bulls didn’t win before the 90’s was because Michael didn’t share and while we had Pippen and Grant on the team they weren’t ‘stars’ yet. Hell, both of em were coming off of the bench their rookie season. It took their ascension and the arrival of Jackson with his triangle offense to turn the Bulls into winners…not the signings of BJ Armstrong or Bill Wennington.

    I’m not drinking any Kool-Aid myself. If the Bulls fail to land any of the ‘Top 3’ guys and don’t net gain at least 1 more quality guy then I’d be extremely disappointed…but don’t act like there is a second ball on the floor or more than 48 minutes in a game. If the Lakers can win with Adam Morrison as their 11th man on the Bench, then so can the Bulls.

    inkybreath July 4, 2010 at 5:20 pm #


    Who is the best free agent the Bulls could get in terms of Derrick Rose, specifically?

    Most of us admit that regardless of which free agent arrives, Rose is the most important player for the Bulls.

    I was just watching the Top 10 Plays for each team for last year. In watching the Heat highlights, I got a strong feeling that Rose would sky-rocket in learning from Wade’s bag of tricks up close (which is not sky-rocket-science, of course).

    I don’t think that LeBron or Bosh offer anything more than benefits to his game, in-game – the floor being spread, passes from Bosh/Bron being double-teamed, etc…

    reggie July 5, 2010 at 4:41 am #

    Yes finally I am hearing the right choice for the bulls LBj as good or as great as he is would stop Derrick Rose’s growth in his game yet wade and or bosh and Rose would continue to assend to new hts in his game also this would inable the bulls to bring in a sharp shooter ala Ray allen , Reddick or whom ever we choose long as they have a pure shot to spread the floor.
    The bulls are winners now if they add any good or great player this year if not multiple players they would most def hit the top three in there confrence.
    This is the time they did not make the moves they made to settle for less Get it done Gar,Pax and Jerry we won’t settle for anything else you have went all in here now it is time to show yr hand hope its a winner.

    inkybreath July 5, 2010 at 5:52 pm #

    It is subtle, but there is another upside for a considering free agent. Both Rose and Noah appear to want to be on this team to the end. Even in this day and age, I cannot see Noah playing for any other team, ever. It may not be accurate, but I think it describes the unteachable aspects of a player that fans grow to love. When the player recognizes that part and embraces it – it makes for a team-lifer. (Ahem, Scalabrine for a funny example.) Noah also did a lot of growing up – the good kind of both mentally and physically – and, I am sure that has tied him to the black & red even more.

    Of course, Rose is from Chicago, so that auto-connection is easy to quantify, but I get the impression that he even if he wasn’t from Chicago, we would have embraced him just as much. You could call him the ‘darling’ of this city, pardon the phrase, because his mixture of strength, talent & humility is mesmerizing. John Hughes could make a great 80’sesque movie from these two – you have the quiet talent and the take-a-bullet, bully-beater teaming up for the big score.

    Think of how scary it is for free agents looking at a team and, themselves, not knowing who will be on the team they choose in one, two & three years.

    As much as the organization has done wrong, they offer a much more stable experience, overall, then any other team.

  6. Ryan July 5, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

    @inkybreath –

    Good logic. I think drafting Noah was one of the first of many great moves in the recent past. I know we went through the dumpster and back in the early 2000’s, but have made great strides these last 2-3 years. Drafting Noah and Taj (jury is out for James Johnson), making the Playoffs with ‘sub-par’ teams and a ‘sub-par’ coach, and getting in a position to be able to get 1-2 top players in the best Free Agent class.

    Trm3 July 7, 2010 at 4:39 am #

    Yeah, jury is out on James Johnson as soon as he stops palming, traveling and drawing offensive fouls. The guy was turnover waiting to happen every play.

    inkybreath July 7, 2010 at 1:34 pm #

    Yes, Trm3, he was an ill-used rookie … take it easy. Now, he has a coach with some pedigree – let’s see what happens.

    Credit Girl July 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    Man free agents get all the money. Its an interesting marketing strategy.
    I guess I would do it too if I knew I stood to make more money.

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