Free Agent Watch: Rumors are piling up as the clock counts down to July 1

It’s getting crazy, people. July 1 is a few short days away and teams are jockeying for poll position in the upcoming free agent bonanza. Here’s a roundup of news and rumors about the free agents that may or may not be a part of the Bulls’ near future.

Amar’e Stoudemire:
According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard: “[The Knicks' GM Donnie ] Walsh and [coach Mike] D’Antoni also hope to meet with Amare Stoudemire while in Los Angeles. [Joe] Johnson and Stoudemire emerged as star players while playing for D’Antoni in Phoenix, which is a large part of the reason both players are considering New York so strongly. Johnson averaged double figures (16.7 ppg) for the first time in his career while playing for D’Antoni in the 2003-04 season. That same year, Stoudemire went from being a 13-point scorer to a 20-point scorer in D’Antoni’s wide-open system. While the Knicks’ main target is James, the duo of Johnson and Stoudemire would be a nice consolation prize if James goes elsewhere.”

Brad Miller:
According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: “The Boston Celtics have targeted center Brad Miller to sign in free agency, league sources told Yahoo! Sports. Miller and guard Ray Allen are expected to be the Celtics’ two top priorities in free agency following the retirement of Rasheed Wallace and a knee injury to Kendrick Perkins. … Several contenders are expected to pursue Miller, but sources say the chance to play for the defending Eastern Conference champions has significant appeal to him.”

Chris Bosh:
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Bosh had some positive things to say about joining the Miami Heat.

Said Bosh: “Miami is in top contention. With the money they have, the cap space they have, the rights on Dwyane [Wade], him possibly staying. And just having a good organization; they are known as a first-class organization. Dwyane is going to be one of the greatest players in the history of the game when it’s said and done.”

But…he won’t be playing center if the Heat keep Michael Beasley and/or re-sign Udonis Haslem

Added Bosh: “The thing I said when I came into free agency is I’m going to be a forward. I’m going to play my natural position.”

Bosh also dismissed the rumor that he would sign with the Bulls if LeBron does. And he’s not the only one to dismiss that rumor.

According to Art Garcia of NBA.com: “Completely untrue,” Bosh’s agent Henry Thomas told NBA.com via email. “He hasn’t decided anything.”

According to Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle: “Amid indications Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh will seek to join another top free agent on a team with cap space, a person with knowledge of the Rockets’ thinking said Houston is confident it will be in the running and is considering seeking another enticement. The individual familiar with the Rockets’ thinking said Houston could attempt to give Bosh a chance to sign with an All-Star guard by making a run at Atlanta Hawks free agent Joe Johnson.”

Dwyane Wade:
According to Michael Wallace of the Miami Herald: “Before jetting away Sunday night for a vacation to set his professional agenda, Heat guard Dwyane Wade cleared the air on his free agency itinerary. Wade denied reports that he has agreed to visit the New York Knicks on a recruiting tour, but would not rule out meeting with other teams to gauge their interest in his services.”

Said Wade: “I haven’t set anything in stone. It’s funny when you hear these things come out, especially when they come out about you. You only heard this stuff after LeBron said he wasn’t going to some places. But none of us know what’s going to happen. Not LeBron. Not me. Not Chris. Not any of us, right now. … I love Miami and everyone knows that. We worked hard to put ourselves in this position. But as a free agent, you explore everything and see what happens.”

Joe Johnson:
According to Michael Cunningham of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: ”A person familiar with the Hawks’ plans said they still hope to re-sign Johnson and are prepared to spend the money necessary to do so. The person said the Hawks fear Johnson might decide to leave for reasons other than money, including the criticism he received from fans and media after a poor showing in the playoffs last month. The person asked not be identified because the team has stipulated it would not publicly discuss the Johnson negotiations.

According to ESPN’s Chris Broussard: “When the clock strikes midnight ET in New York on July 1, Knicks team president Donnie Walsh and coach Mike D’Antoni will be in Los Angeles meeting with Johnson, who will hold all of his meetings with clubs on the West Coast. The Knicks’ brass will fly to northeast Ohio to woo James at 1 p.m. ET on Thursday. While the Hawks hope to keep Johnson in Atlanta, several sources said the Knicks have emerged as his first choice. If they must lose him, the Hawks’ preference is to work out a sign-and-trade deal with the Knicks.”

According to Ken Berger of CBS Sports: ”Don’t be surprised if his strong connection to Clippers GM Neil Olshey explains why Johnson is conveniently ensconced in L.A. for the purposes of signing a max deal with the Clips. As a trainer for Tellem when Johnson was entering the draft, Olshey worked with Johnson and has maintained a strong relationship with him. The Clippers situation is ideal because Johnson wouldn’t have to shoulder the burden as the franchise cornerstone, a title and responsibility that will fall on Blake Griffin. The Clippers, with enough cap space for one max player, will make their run at LeBron, but the answer is expected to be a swift and polite, ‘No, thanks.’ At which point you can expected them to move on to Johnson as their Plan B.”

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports: “Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban will pursue a sign-and-trade to lure Atlanta Hawks free agent Joe Johnson, league sources told Yahoo! Sports … Johnson, is more likely to embrace a sign-and-trade to the contending Mavs than sign a free-agent contract with New York or Chicago, sources said.”

LeBron James:
According to Jonathan Abrams of the New York Times: “The LeBron James sweepstakes will kick off in Ohio on his home turf Thursday as five teams — the Chicago Bulls, the Miami Heat, the Knicks, the Nets and the Los Angeles Clippers — travel there in an attempt to woo James away from the Cleveland Cavaliers, an executive of one of the teams in the hunt said Saturday. The executive, who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow NBA executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors.”

According to John Jackson of the Chicago Sun-Times: “A source with knowledge of the situation said James is expected to be joined in the Ohio meetings by his agent, Leon Rose; his business manager, Maverick Carter; and confidant William Wesley, who works with Rose at super agency CAA Sports. The meetings are expected to be all about basketball because James doesn’t want to get caught up in different cities trying to outdo each other with glitzy presentations. That certainly works in the Bulls’ favor. Of all the teams, they have the most talent in place, plus significant salary-cap room.”

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11 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Rumors are piling up as the clock counts down to July 1

  1. svidahl@silverstar.com'
    WyomingBullsFan June 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm #

    How about that hatchet-job that Chris Sheridan did on Chicago and their management in comparison to the Knicks of all teams! He was also very defensive in his chat acting like New York’s future is much better than Chicago’s and that it’s “what the roster looks like in four years,” that was more important. Sounds like he’s just standing his ground on something that not the public perception but he’s doing it at the expense of making opinion sound like fact. Badmouthing Reinsdorf doesn’t change the fact that he’s won 7 championships with two different professional teams (Bulls and ChiSox). New York is still paying off the sexual misconduct suit from the Isaiah Thomas days. I can understand trying to pry into something more deeply but this was extremely irritating today and Sheridan needs to be called on it when it doesn’t pan out.

    Here’s my opinion
    Chicago: James and Bosh
    New York: Johnson & Stoudemire
    Miami: Wade,Boozer & Gay
    Dallas: Nowitski and Lee
    My surprise ending? Gay in Utah (Think of the headlines)

    If this pans out, who is the Bulls primary target to replace Captain Kirk?

  2. Anonymous June 28, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    I

  3. Raevyrn June 28, 2010 at 10:41 pm #

    I agree on the sentiment regarding Sheridan. As for where people end up that’s pretty close to what I predict as well although I think Boozer and Stoudemire can swap spots, too iffy for me to say either way. Utah won’t be picking anyone up, they need to cut salary and can’t afford to go over as a small market team. I’d really like to see Lee go to the Thunder.

    As for shooting guard, I think JJ Reddick would be a pretty decent fit for that spot.

  4. Bass June 28, 2010 at 11:44 pm #

    Look for da Bulls to complete a trade of Luol Deng once they have a commitment from Lebron James or a possible sign and trade involving Luol Deng freeing up more cap space to sign a replacement for Kirk Hinrich. Next couple of weeks are going to be crazy. Good luck to da Bulls organization from a dedicate Bulls fan.

    Da Bulls!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. efrenlopez09@yahoo.com'
    efren June 29, 2010 at 2:17 am #

    the bulls 2010-2011 line up
    pg/d.rose
    g/joe johnson
    f/lebron james
    pf/cris bosh
    c/joakim noah
    AND I PUT MY MONEY THAT IS GOIN TO HAPPEND

  6. Cool wind June 29, 2010 at 7:02 am #

    I’m sick with all this lbj, d-wade and cb4 rumor. I suggest gar and pax bring someone to support our d-rose and noah. Not bringing someone for d-rose and noah to support them. To me d-rose and noah is the real deal. They are great, young, and can still grow more. Even if lbj or d-wade or cb4 come to bulls, that’s fine. If not then so be it. Don’t throw the bulls’s pride just to beg for them to come to bulls.

  7. zilla2033@yahoo.com'
    zillaa June 29, 2010 at 4:33 pm #

    Maybe its just frustration, but I really agree with Cool wind. At this point, I’d be happy with signing Bosh/Boozer/maybe Lee and signing/trading for a couple role players who can consistently defend and hit three’s like JJ Reddick. The players we have right now already bring the attitude of winning first and have the talent to back it up (see: the half of last season where less than 2 starters were injured).

    If starters stop having bad luck injuries, the Bulls win 10 more games next season. Add a big guy who can create with the ball in his hands, the Bulls win 5 more games. Add a 3-point shooter who can play D, the Bulls win another 5 games. Of course, just my opinion, but if anyone agrees with the numbers, then that’s 61 wins next season. Anyone have a problem with 61 wins?

  8. zilla2033@yahoo.com'
    zillaa June 29, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    Oh and btw, considering how much Rose improved his mid-range jumper last off-season, and how he started shooting 3s after his injury stint last season, I’m assuming he averages something like 1 for 3 or 2 for 5 from behind the line this season. I think I have WAY too much belief in the players we already have :)

  9. josh.radde@gmail.com'
    Josh June 29, 2010 at 6:23 pm #

    Rose has stated that he’s going to spend his summer getting better at jumpers and Tibbs will make him a better pick-and-roll defender…I think Redick or Anthony Morrow or Kyle Korver would accept the mid-level exception to come. Am I the only one who thinks the Bulls will and probably SHOULD keep Deng around? We can always move him later, but I wanna see how he works as 6th man for awhile.

  10. ces_gon@hotmail.com'
    blockhead June 30, 2010 at 6:39 am #

    first of all get rid of deng…he hasnt done anything worth keeping..all i do remember, he is always hurt…. so in other words is a waste of a player and $.

    efren…wishful thinking buddy although im would love that lineup…NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. I could see LBJ AND bosh coming but i dont think johnson is coming…reason being is because the FA SUMMIT that happened was really about wads, lbj and bosh joining rose and noah…

    imagine that!!!!!!!!!!!

  11. keithlyne23@yahoo.com'
    keith July 4, 2010 at 10:13 pm #

    First Of all if the Bulls dnt get a Low Post Scorer i see this free Agent period as A total loss even with either Wade or James in the mix. tha Bulls Need a Low Post Scorer along with a Outside shooter which was tha reason for the early playoff Exit. Lets be real Just offer Bosh a max contract that takes care of our low post scoring. then add a shooter like mike miller to go along with rose in tha back court. Mayb even see if u can talk boozer into taking less money fo a shot at tha crown. U gonna have to deal with tha lakers in tha finals if they do make it that far. So u hv a front court of Boozer,bosh, and noah Bosh and boozer are gonna demand double teams everytime they touch tha ball which leave the outside shooting of miller at full effect. Bosh has to be the first guy u sign i dnt care bout james or wade. Then Sign Tracy Mcgrady yes i said it Mcgrady he wnt cost u much and he still showed signs tha he can score. Go after another guy like roger mason if u cnt get miller to sign to sure up ur bench. there are plenty of good players out there the bulls can attract with the young core they have rite nw. even if u dnt get to bigs gibson is athletic enough to play the sf along with deng u just start gibson and bring deng off tha bench. U dnt always have to win a championship with everyone on the team superstars member this is D.Rose team that why they drafted him two years ago. Worst case u dnt get neither of tha big three james,wade or bosh, then tha other top free agents or gone then ur left with nothing and hope for next year sign Bosh plz to a max contract then add pieces and see if u cn bring in MELO as a sign and trade and offer Deng and Johnson to complete the trade and use some of tha cap to sign Melo.I can see tha bulls line up looking like this for next year

    PG-Rose
    SG-Mcgrady or Miller
    SF-Boozer
    PF-Bosh
    C-Noah

    Bench
    Deng
    Gibson
    Johnson
    and add couple mo shooters to tha bench cuz ur stalked with biggs if u sign both boozer and bosh and i see them competting with any team in tha league.

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