Free Agent Watch: Updates on LeBron, Bosh and Stoudemire

Amar’e Stoudemire:
Now that Steve Kerr is no longer GM of the Suns, rumor has it that Amar’e is finished in Phoenix. According to ESPN’s J.A. Adande: “Amare’s done. He’s gone.”

If that’s true — and, in all honesty, it’s not entirely clear that it is — the question becomes: Gone to where?

Personally, my money’s on Miami. And I’m not the only one placing that particular bet.

ESPN’s Tom Haberstroh thinks STAT would fit in with the Bulls…even he’s more Plan D, E or F material: “Who has a point guard who can man the fast break, an open slot for a scoring power forward and a long big man who can defend? That’s right, the Chicago Bulls. From an existing personnel standpoint, no team should appeal to Stoudemire more than the Bulls. With lightning-quick Derrick Rose at the point and high-energy Joakim Noah by his side, Stoudemire could slide seamlessly into the Bulls’ roster and finally give them a real scoring option on the block — perhaps the first since they traded Elton Brand almost a decade ago. But will Chicago’s new head coach and defensive wizard Tom Thibodeau tolerate Stoudemire’s listlessness on D? Long known as one of the hardest working coaches in the game, it’s hard to imagine Stoudemire responding positively to a man who expects nothing but the highest collective effort on both ends of the floor. But if anyone can design a defensive scheme more effective than the sum of its parts, it would have to be Thibodeau. That said, the Bulls could have their sights on someone else, and that would leave no room for Stoudemire.”

I’m not real big on the idea of the Bulls giving Stoudemire a max contract, and it doesn’t seem as though the Bulls are either. According to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune: “The Bulls have reservations over acquiring Stoudemire, who will seek a maximum contract at a time questions remain about his defensive play and recovery from microfracture surgery on his knee.”

I’m not going to lie: I have the same reservations and even though Amar’e would probably make the Bulls better in the short term, I’d rather see the front office sit on their extra cap space until next summer than overspend for Stoudemire this summer.

Chris Bosh:
Remember back when Chris Bosh said he wants to play for a team where he’s The Man? In case you forgot, here’s what Bosh said: “I’m not an addition. I’m a centerpiece. I have to have that confidence in myself, and I want people to know that, because I’m not somebody that helps out. I’m the guy you get like, ‘Yo, we’re going to win a championship, you’re gonna take us there.’ I want to hold onto that because I think every kid when they dream about playing basketball, they don’t dream about being a role player. They dream about being the man. I have that position in Toronto and to give that up and go somewhere else to be an addition would kinda defeat the purpose of my dreams.”

So…is Bosh’s mindset the same now that his free agency is almost here? Apparently, it is.

According to Art Garcia of “Bosh hasn’t changed that stance, adding recently that he’s making his decision separate from LeBron James or anyone else. Bosh is frequently mentioned as the bronze medal in the Free Agency Olympics headlined by LeBron and Dwyane Wade. Bidders can do a lot worse than bronze. While the pairing of Bosh with one of his former Team USA teammates could form the foundation of a title contender, the 26-year-old power forward could just as easily strike out on his own. Bosh’s independent streak is a significant variable in a marketplace that so many assume will be dictated by LeBron. Bosh could be the first domino to fall if he decides to leave Toronto when free agency begins July 1, causing a ripple effect among the teams with significant cap space and those angling for a premier free agent through a sign-and-trade.”

For the record — not like I haven’t been saying this for months — I think Bosh would be a great addition to the Bulls. Short of landing LeBron, there probably isn’t another player who should be available that I’d want more than Bosh. And his whole “I want to be The Man” syndrome could work in Chicago’s favor. Even though Derrick Rose is clearly the team’s leader, he hasn’t yet ascended to superduperstardom like, say, LeBron and D-Wade. Coming to Chicago would put Bosh in a great situation talent-wise but also probably give him (in his own mind at least) a 1a or 1b status.

At any rate, it doesn’t appear as if Bosh is going to be waiting to see what LeBron or anybody else does come July 1st.

This is what Bosh recently said on “Anytime you have the opportunity to play with certain guys, you have to take that into consideration. When it all goes down, [LeBron is] gonna be one of the all-time greats. At the same time, I can’t just sit around and wait. I have to be proactive with my choices and what’s gonna make me happy. I have to make sure I take my time and make the right decision.

“There are a lot of teams out there I’m considering including my home team, the Raptors. It’s gonna be crazy and confusing and I’m looking forward to it. I think each team has its own advantages over the other. New Jersey has a young core, so does New York. The coaching styles are a bit different. A lot of people are excited about the new (Nets) owner. It’s interesting. Everybody is pretty much excited about the makeup of the team and the direction the Nets are headed. It might work out; it might not. You always have to consider a lot.”

Notice he didn’t mention the Bulls? It may have had more to do with the questions he was asked than anything else, but it’s worth noting.

LeBron James:
According to RealGM, Stephen A. Smith has some (very) minor insider info on what LeBron’s team is doing to prepare for the free agent bonanza: “From what my sources tell me, he still hasn’t made a final decision but he’s higher on New York now than he was a month ago. And the reality is that he is leaning more towards New York than he is towards returning to Cleveland … He and his people have been digging deeper and deeper … to inquire about Donnie Walsh and Mike D’Antoni around the league. They have been asking questions over the last week, very in-depth questions, about the New York Knicks organization.”

I’d like to know what those “in-depth questions” were.

At any rate, that RealGM article had one Bulls-specific tidbit: “Smith suggests that the prospect of competing head to head with Michael Jordan’s legacy in Chicago is dampening James’ interest in the Bulls.”

That’s what I was afraid of. But who knows? Magic Johnson’s place as the Greatest Laker Ever seemed pretty secure until recently. Now that Kobe Bryant has won another title in L.A., some people — including ESPN’s Chris Broussard and even Shaq — are already annointing him the Greatest Laker Ever. So nobody’s place in history is unassailable. In theory. But Jordan’s is pretty close.

The only thing we don’t know is: Would that challenge motivate LeBron or scare him away?

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25 Responses to Free Agent Watch: Updates on LeBron, Bosh and Stoudemire

    BoppinBob June 21, 2010 at 3:22 pm #

    I’ve been forgetting about both Rob Kurz and Chris Richard still being on the Bulls roster. Both may be able to contribute in the future. So the Bulls current roster is made up of 1 C (Noah), 2 PF (Gibson & Richard), 3 SF (Deng, Johnson & Kurz), 2 PG (Rose & Hinrich). I consider Rose, Noah and Gibson as untouchable, along with either Deng or Hinrich depending on the S&T or trades possible. I believe that the Bulls should resign Murray and/or Law. Investigate the possibility of resigning Brad Miller as a 3rd option at center, (he has been a very good mentor for Noah and Gibson and other big men), may want to consider offering him a coaching position. Going into the draft the Bulls would have either Deng or Hinrich along with Richard, Johnson, Kurz and the 17th draft pick available for trades. It is possible that the Bulls could fill one of their needs (SG, PF or backup C) thru the draft or a draft day trade. By signing Murray and/or Law on July 1st that might solve the backup G position. The Bulls have tremendous flexibility going into the draft and FA. If they can sign one of the big name FAs great, but they do not need to invest in someone who does not deserve a max contract (Amare, Boozer, Johnson, Gay, and possibily Bosh). I am rethinking my position on Bosh, he may be worth a max contract along with LBJ and Wade.

    C-Lo_The_Great June 21, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    bosh is definitly worth max forgot his avgs but i think it was 24 and 12? i think stephen a smith is a new york guy so of course he would say the knicks are higher on lbjs list i still wonder why new york is an attractive place to go chicago has everything the knicks have and we can get 2 superstar with a S&T plus knicks havent been relevant in a long time

    Savage June 21, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    If a great player is dampened from coming to Chicago because the best player ever was here then I’m sorry I don’t want him anyway. Such a player could never come close to touching Jordan because Jordan was fearless and would not hesitate just because someone great had been there before him. If LBJ’s ego is that insecure than maybe its best for him to go to NY. And to be honest I would hope that turns out to be an epic fail. The fact remains out of the teams with max cash the Bulls have the youngest and brightest future ahead of them. If LBJ doesn’t want to take advantage of that just because his ego can not take possibly being overshadowed then go to a team with no current talent like NY. Good luck with that.

  4. one drunk dude June 21, 2010 at 6:27 pm #

    i’m hoping the bulls land stadamire. dat dude is fresh as hell.

    BoppinBob June 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm #

    C-Lo he has not been eneough of an impact player to carry his team to the playoffs. All the other Big name FAs managed to help their teams at least make the playoffs. To me that shows you that he is not the STUD to build a team around, despite what he thinks.

  6. Ryan June 21, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    No matter if anyone thinks guys like Johnson, Boozer, or Amare deserve a Max contract from the Bulls – They will get it elsewhere. If we can’t get Lebron, Wade, or Bosh are we supposed to offer the second tier FA’s peanuts? These guys want paid too. Between the Nets and NY, if they don’t get one of the top three, you better believe they will still offer Boozer or Joe Johnson a Max. I believe Amare may get one from Miami (his hometown).

    I am still on the fence on this topic, because even though I would love to pick up some those mentioned above, there are guys out there like Al Harrington, David Lee, and Brendan Haywood that I would rather have than Boozer or Amare. Some bargains I would like to see – Steve Novak, Mike Miller, Ime Udoka, Antoine Wright, and if we can keep Brad Miller we will need a Brian Cardinal (Boilermakers).

    *Question Matt. I noticed Chris Douglas-Roberts and Corey Brewer are available. CDR and Rose played in Memphis and Brewer (David Lee for 1 year) played with Noah in Florida. Being old teammates, would that make a difference on the NBA level

  7. PTFC June 21, 2010 at 7:32 pm #

    Looks like the bulls are still in a good position. If Lebron comes then jackpot. If not then that opens the door for Bosh because it seems he doesn’t want to share the spot light with another superduper star. Bosh’s ego would not be threatened by Drose (even though deep down inside us real bulls fans know Drose would still be the man). But if Bosh is that insecure where we fans have to pretend “hes the man” then so be it. (I wonder what will happen when Rose continues to get better and becomes a superstar himself, will Bosh then ask for a trade? lol) If the Bulls get Lebron then pick up David lee, if bulls get Bosh pick up a solid SG. I just feel the Bulls are too talented a team (and 3rd largest market) to not land one of the big FA’s.

    It sounds like Bosh is not going to play with another superduper star which means no pairing up with wade or Lebron. So what is Lebron going to do? Go to NY or NJ by himself? No. Bosh’s attitude only helps the Bulls get Lebron.

    reggie June 21, 2010 at 10:09 pm #

    Bosh is worth Max money and amare is worth max money along with wade and Lbj the rest of them are not worth max money yet they are still skilled players that will demand some type of big contract and will get it. I only want to see the best players that will help the team come here, if yr ego cannot take it or you want to be a diva then chicago is not the place for you we are Da bulls hard fierce and always charging, the bulls may want to just go after bosh if he says no then but this is only after lbj but just dont wait too long to make it happen cause they may miss out on all the good players then I would rather they just keep money and wait til next year maybe we can lure durant out of the thunder i know long shot but who knows money talks, I think though all being said the bulls will get a Max player I’m just not sure who it will be lots of names and deals that can be made to get alot of ppl and not just the F.A’s out there now this will be the biggest free agency in history lots of things are gonna happen just hope we get the right ppl here to help us on the way to the top of the NBA. (but once again there is a chance the bulls may not get anyone just depends on how far they are willing to go hope it does not hurt the core of the team we have now.) PEACE

    WyomingBullsFan June 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm #

    This post-season showed me a lot. I was completely on the bandwagon that LeBron was the best player in the world. However, this post-season has made me re-evaluate that stance. Mainly the word “player”. LeBron James is the most spectacular talent in the world. He is able to blow by most or bully others with his physical talents. He is a hard worker and a good team mate by almost all accounts. The one thing that has become abundantly clear is he is not a killer. MJ was an assassin. Kobe Bryant is a stone-cold killer. I would even put Dwayne Wade in that group. He’ll pull your heart out in a win or go home situation. That’s the difference between Bryant and James right now. LeBron is the world’s best talent, Bryant is the world’s best player, and I hate Kobe Bryant. But LeBron James is shaping up to be the Elgin Baylor of his generation. A phenomenal talent, a game-changer, someone who’s stats bely his real impact on the game. But not a champion. In other words, James is too nice. I think Bosh is playing his cards right now so Toronto won’t get into an ego-contest and not get anything back in return, but I think he’d step over his mother for a championship ring. I’m a long-time Bulls fan, before MJ, back when Chet Walker and Jerry Sloan were playing. I want a killer and maybe the Bulls’ next best step isn’t going for the nice guy who wants to win 50 games in NY, but the guy who wants to win 60 and the championship in Chicago. Bosh and an under-rated 2-guard and save some cap space for 2011 would suit me just fine

    C-Lo_The_Great June 22, 2010 at 1:01 am #

    true bosh has never taken his team to playoffs but look at his squad around him the 2nd best player on their team quit on them and went to go party and the rest of that team is really not that good iexcept for 3 players now im not saying the future isnt bright for toronto because it really is with or without bosh my main point is bosh isnt a “carry entire team on the back type of guy” but bosh is the next best thing and is worth max plus i cant think of any low post position player who took a team to the playoffs BY HIMSELF low post players dont get touches on every single posession so their not able to help offensively as much as a player like dwade or lbj who have the rock on almost every possession

    joe June 22, 2010 at 2:48 am #

    Shoot for
    signing James.

    Let the other guys overpay for Bosh, Amare and Johnson with Max deals. None are worth it.

    TRADE for a key PF and SG using cap space to accept a star player from one of the many financially distressed teams.

    Bosh can’t make the Raptors playoff competitive so why is he a MAX FA?

    Steve Kerr is quitting the GM Job so Amare is NOT the answer, otherwise Kerr would build around him.

    Boozer, well Utah would rather have 2nd round Milsap and the cap space.

    Joe Johnson, I’d never give SG a max deal unless his first name is Kobe or his last name Jordan.

  12. TexasBearsFan June 22, 2010 at 5:05 am #

    Neither Amare, nor Joe Johnson, nor Carlos Boozer are worth max contracts. Will someone pay it for them? Yes, but that doesn’t mean we should. There’s no need to spend like drunken sailors because there’s someone out there. The Bulls should either get their boy, whether that’s Bosh or LeBron or Wade, or lay back and wait for ‘Melo next year.

    This team is young and very talented. There’s no reason to screw it up now by giving huge money to mediocre talents like Joe Johnson, who we’ll then be stuck with for eons.

    BoppinBob June 22, 2010 at 5:39 am #

    C-Lo, like I said, I’m on the fence about Bosh. With his feelings about being “the man” and wanting max money, I wonder how he will fit chemistry wise with the current Bulls. Getting Bosh will definitely improve the Bulls if the chemistry is right. It will not bring a championship next year. Finding the right role players takes time. The starting 5 for the Bulls first 3-peat was in place in 1988, but they needed the role players to win it all.

    Trm3 June 22, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    I thought LeBron wanted to win?? NY isn’t even close to that. If he goes to NY he’ll be in the same situation when he was drafted with the Cavs, starting from the bottom.

    If he doesn’t want to come to Chicago then so be it..I’ll be happy with Bosh and signing good shooter to space the floor.

    BULL4EVER June 22, 2010 at 3:05 pm #

    Now Chicago will totally adjust without a high-profile free-agent star with D’Rose and Noah along with the rest of it’s supporting cast because that 90’s Bulls team never even had a third superstar along with Jordan and Pippen in the mix and yet Chicago won 6 NBA titles.The fact is, Chicago is just a faster title contender with LeBron or Bosh along with Rose and Noah.Hey this Bulls team will start winning NBA titles again like how they once used to in the 90’s with or without LeBron or Bosh.GO BULLS.

    C-Lo-The-Great June 22, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    yup totally agree with you bob chemistry is a huge factor in building great teams look at raptors and wizards at the beginning of the season on paper they were supposed to be legit teams but did it turn out that way? and i disagree with most other people on if we dont get a “key player” we should save for next year first drose and noahs contract are gonna be up and most if not all the cap space will go toward resigning them 2nd im tired of watching bulls be happy with just making playoffs every single year and not advancing (my assumption) and lastly if we dont get a stud then sign other players to complement drose but please just dont save the cap space

    BULL4EVER June 22, 2010 at 3:19 pm #

    The King and Chris Bosh will both sign their contracts in the Windy City if they truly want to be title-winning legends because Chicago has always been a town of legends such as Micheal and Scottie.The will sign with new york or new jersey if they want to get thumped, it’s up to those two whether they want truly win titles or get thumped by signing with the new york bricks or the new jersey dents. GO BULLS

    silky smoov June 22, 2010 at 6:38 pm #

    it’s a matter of whehter or not Bull Management really value some guys as max players. I don’t like the term because it is self-serving and an agent’s number one bargaining tool. Only the GM gets to decide the talent level and value of these FA’s. If the player/agent balk at the GM’s notions then good riddence and find a team that will oblige you. The Bulls need to go after quality players who want to WIN FIRST! I am a LBJ fan of his game but not so much a fan of his character and WILL TO WIN. As much as I’m not a KOBE fan, he is the absolute best today at reaching in and snatching your heart out on the court. That’s the type of player the Bulls need to seek. A player with a workman’s attitude who comes everyday to destroy the opponent. LBJ is clearly that when the Cavs are up, but when the Cavs are down, I wonder what his mentality is. He was dancing on the sidelines when they were thumping the Bulls during the regular season but was no where to be found when the Celtics were putting it to him. So until he gets the killer drive that would stop at nothing to win, then he’d be an asset. otherwise he’s just another player who will keep the Madhouse on Madison sold out for a few more years. Find the diamonds in the rough who want to win and get fair market value. not break the bank and just play for the next contract.

    reggie June 22, 2010 at 6:48 pm #

    Wait there is alot of talk about next year myself included but at the same time how many times can we truly use that phrase and like feel comfortable saying it. The bulls hopefully won’t wait until next year they made some moves for this year therefore it should all happen this year, pending who they sign or wants to play here for the bulls, I think there is more than enough scenero’s far as players go to get the bulls some help to win a ring.I’m just not gonna say wait til next year anymore this is the year biggest in history and we have the money the space and the talent to make it all come together, so Lets focus on this year, as if there is no next year (next year is here wake up), there may be no next year make it happen this year, while there are multiple options out there to achieve our goal of having a championship team here in CHi GO bulls.

  20. steverba June 22, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    I would really like to see the Bulls pick up bosh right on July 8th and then add a shooting SG, ie kyle korver.

    I also wouldn’t mind seeing the bulls give the veterans minimum to tracy mcgrady to bolster the bench. Bench of Kirk, Tmac, JJ, gibson and Brad Miller would be sexy. OMG championship.

    Jason Bigg June 23, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    I agree with steverba, I would love to see the Bulls sign Chris Bosh this summer! The way I think the Bulls can get Chris Bosh is by trading L. Deng, James Johnson and the Bulls 17 draft pick to Toronto. Then I think the Bulls should try to make an offer to Anthony Morrow and try to steal him away from Golden State, since they already have a lot of guards if he leaves or Kyle Korver, Mike Miller or Rasual Butler. Then to replace L. Deng presents we can sign: Travis Outlaw since he can hit big 3 point shots and Al Harrington as a back for a small 1-3 year contract. Then we should fill out the rest of our roster with solid players to a 1 year deal to: Brad Miller or Omer Asik, Acie Law or Carlos Arroyo, Chris Richard, Rob Kurz and Rodney Carney or Luther Head.
    PG: D. Rose
    SG: A. Morrow or K. Hinrich
    SF: T. Outlaw or Al Harrington
    PF: C. Bosh
    C: J. Noah
    PF: T. Gibson
    SG: A. Morrow or K. Hinrich
    C: B. Miller or C: Omer Asik
    SF: T. Outlaw or Al Harrington
    C: Chris Richard
    G: Acie Law or Carlos Arroyo
    SF: Rob Kurz
    SG: Rodney Carney or Luther Head
    What do you guys think? Not a bad idea?

    inkybreath June 23, 2010 at 1:31 pm #

    Wow, now Chris Paul is in the mix? This just got really interesting. Paul and James on the same team? Ouch.

    cn June 23, 2010 at 5:29 pm #

    Hard to believe that any of these free agents would really care who played for the team in prior generations…including Michael Jordan. I think they mostly care about money and if they can win…in that order.

    reggie June 24, 2010 at 3:13 pm #

    I am for one hoping the bulls dont like try to get james all summer only to not get him I think they should go after Bosh , directly he wants to leave no questionsed asked where LBJ just not sure if he can leave his home town lot vested there kinda understand how he feels home is home . If the bulls waste all there time only to come up short in the free agency what do you as bulls fans think should happen I think John paxton should be fired first and second might want to consider what they are gonna do next cause teams aint gonna wait too long we know only one team can sign one player meaning who ever gets him the rest lose out on them so the bulls may want to target other players while the rest consider if they want to sign they have had long time to ponder where they want to go now is the time to act when july first comes my motto would be either sign or maybe we can sign you later but we cannot wait for you to decide that is all I am saying just dont sign a bum player but yet they must get some good or great players and quick the more time goes by the less chance they have to get anyone that will help the team . That is the bottom line Peace

    reggie June 24, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

    Nice point cn these players are playing for today not tommorrow or yesterday and it is more so about winning/getting paid then anything else they come first as they should and for the ones with lil ego’s they should not come to the windy city anyways we are tough not to be swayed by others less its good for us/ Peace

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