Ben Gordon's insistence that the Bulls never made him an offer
before he took a $55 million deal from Detroit - that the Bulls no
longer wanted him - was met with a roll of the eyes from his old
franchise, league sources said.
Gordon turned down offers of $50 and $54 million over the past two
years, and league sources familiar with the talks say Gordon's agent,
Raymond Brothers, told Chicago management on Wednesday that he had an
offer from the Pistons. Only, Brothers wouldn't tell the Bulls how much
Detroit was willing to pay. Even so, the agent still wanted Chicago to
For Chicago to make a blind bid - as the agent wanted them to do - would've been silly and the Bulls never did.
Ben Gordon must still be a free agent, because the Pistons couldn't possibly have just bid on Ben Gordon without waiting for someone else to bid first, asking for the offer, and then beating it by $5.
Clearly the Bulls would have absolutely no idea how much the Pistons were bidding. It's not as if it was reported two weeks ago that the Pistons were going to offer 11 million per year. Somehow, the entire NBA knew the Pistons were going to offer 11 million per year, but the Bulls claim ignorance.
All sarcastic eye rolling aside, this episode says two things to me:
First, the Bulls are absolutely full of crap when it comes to them saying Gordon was their top priority and they wanted to resign him. If they really wanted him, they would have put in a blind bid. Detroit made a blind bid. Why did Detroit do that? Because they really wanted Ben Gordon.
Second, Ben Gordon didn't really want to stay a Bull. If he did, he would have told them what the Detroit offer was and gone to the Bulls if they were willing to match/beat it. Clearly, Ben Gordon had had enough of the organization, and history will be on Ben Gordon's side on this issue as he received his best offer upon reaching free agency and not with the Bulls.
I think what really happened here is the Bulls knew they couldn't beat the Pistons offer and didn't want to be embarrassed by offering less for him than Detroit. The idea that the Bulls didn't have a good idea what the Pistons were offering or that they couldn't make a blind bid is ridiculous. They just decided it was better to risk the PR nightmare of losing Gordon and not bidding rather than risking the PR nightmare of losing him because they didn't bid enough.
In this case, they're still able to push some of the blame at Ben Gordon as if he didn't give them a fair chance.