Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Bulls mailbag: Free agent edition
By Nick Friedell
The dog days of the NBA season are here. Joakim Noah is still hurt and isn't getting particularly better any time soon. The Bulls are playing much better of late but they've got a tough stretch coming up in the next few weeks. While you ponder whether the team's recent trades make them that much better, let's dip into the mailbag and see what's cooking ...
What do you think the Bulls will do this summer in terms of a superstar player? I do see that the three biggest superstars are available in the summer in Dwayne Wade, Kobe Bryant & LeBron James! Can the Bulls use the cap space available to get a player that gets the Chicago Bulls back in championship contention?
Paul Adams (Lansing, Ill.)
Paul (and everyone else who asked this question), I have no doubt that the Bulls are going to make a pitch to every superstar free agent that there is. Having said that, I don't see Kobe, LeBron or D-Wade leaving their respective teams. My guess, as it's been for the past few months, is that the Bulls end up with Chris Bosh or Joe Johnson. Either player would make the Bulls much better and provide the team with the type of consistent, big-time scoring threat they've missed all year.
We can all see the big homecoming for D-Wade approaching ... there's a reason he hasn't re-upped on his Heat contract yet. I can't wait for next season, (Rose, Wade, Deng, Gibson, and Noah).
Jeff (Madison, Ala.)
Jeff (and all the other D-Wade-to-Chicago believers out there) why would Wade leave Miami? He absolutely runs that team, the Heat can pay him more money, there is no state income tax in Florida ... and there is also no snow. Yes, he is from the Chicagoland area, and yes, he can play with Derrick Rose & Co., but I promise you that the Heat are going to do everything they possibly can (including trying to sign someone like Bosh or James) and will continue to allow Wade to have the freedom to do anything he wants down there. Like I've been saying, I'll be extremely surprised if Wade leaves Miami.
Do you think the bulls would consider a sign and trade at the end of the season for one of the big free agents that would involve Deng? What would the Bulls need to do to get far enough under the cap for two max free agents? What max free agents do you see actually leaving their current team?
Dave (Orland Park, Ill.)
To answer your first question -- yes. If the Bulls knew they could get another max player in a sign and trade and all they had to do was give up Deng and some spare parts, they would do that deal in a second. But, why would any team want to take Deng and his big contract?
If the Bulls want to add another max player, it would have to be in a sign and trade, but the odds of that happening don't seem very high at the moment. As I've said, the two max players I think may leave are Bosh and Johnson. Obviously, there is some debate as to whether Johnson could get a max deal or not.
OK, so now the Bulls have the cap room for one max free agent ... how about this scenario? We have LeBron, Bosh, and Phil Jackson come in for a sit down. We say, “Look, we take all three of you and we have a championship team. Phil, we'll match what L.A. is paying you. You'll have a chance to prove yet again you’re the best coach ever. LeBron, we will give you the max contract and you’re going to be playing with the best 5 this league has to offer. And Bosh, we’re going to sign you to one year for as much money as we have left and then after one season, when Hinrich contract is up, we resign you to the max. Championship.”
Woody (Hoffman Estates, Ill.)
I have to give you some points for creativity, but man there are a lot holes in this theory.
A. Why would Phil Jackson leave the Lakers ... and Jeanie Buss?
B. Why would Bosh agree to that? There will be teams lined up to give him a max deal this year.
C. Why would LeBron leave Cleveland when his entire family is in the area and the team looks like it will contend for a title for years to come. Granted, he could contend for a title in Chicago as well, but he seems to have a true affinity for the Akron/Cleveland area.
Sorry, but there is zero chance of this happening.
How certain are you the Bulls will end up with at least one top free agent this summer? Can I bank on one of those top five guys will become a Bull next year, or maybe two depending on money?
I do think the Bulls will sign a big name free agent. But, seriously, is this really the only thing anyone cares about? (I already know the answer is yes ... but there are still 30 games left!)