Last night, LeBron James suffered one of the most stunning playoff eliminations in NBA postseason history. The best team in the league — starring the best player on the planet — didn’t make it out of the second round…didn’t even make it to a seventh game. LeBron’s future in Cleveland has never looked more bleak.
All season, I have been steadfast in my belief that LeBron won’t come to Chicago. That, in fact, he would never want to. As much as James admires Michael Jordan, I can’t imagine him coming to the Windy City and playing in MJ’s giant shadow. I mean, LeBron could still conceivably eclipse Jordan’s accomplishments somewhere else, but he would have to win at least six or seven titles with the Bulls to measure up to Mike’s legacy. I don’t see that happening.
“Within minutes of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ elimination at the hands of the Celtics, the speculation about LeBron James’ next destination resumed in full force. In the space of five minutes I heard from three NBA GMs via text, e-mail and phone. All three said that based on the information they have, they believe LeBron will leave the Cavs. More surprisingly, all of them said they believe the destination will be the Chicago Bulls. Two said they believe that John Calipari will be the Bulls’ new head coach.”
Ford then received the following information from one GM over the phone: “I think the Bulls are really going to go for it. Look for them to offer the Cavs Luol Deng in a sign-and-trade for LeBron. That will allow them to retain most of their cap space. Then they’ll go after Dwyane Wade or Chris Bosh as well.”
Talk about dream scenarios. That would be like winning the lottery on the same day you inherited a gold mine that was sitting on top of a diamond mine that had a huge oil reserve underneath it. Can you imagine a lineup that included LeBron, Wade, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah? Seriously, I just got chills.
But as fun as it is to dream, there are other teams — the Cavaliers, Clippers, Heat and Knicks just to name a few — that all have just as good a shot at James as the Bulls do. And July is still a month and a half away. Literally anything could happen.
Still, when I woke up yesterday, I would have rated Chicago’s chances of landing Lebron at about zero percent. Now? I think there’s a chance.