There seems to be some confusion over which guys I like and don't like next year due to some poorly phrased sentences and perhaps some things I've said not being read in the correct context (or perhaps me not fully considering all options in the case of a couple guys). Thus I've decided to come up with the order of guys I would select for the Bulls throwing price out of the equation, since it's something that can't really be estimated at this point as it depends on who does the bidding.
1: LeBron James - Seriously, nothing needs to be said about this.
2: Chris Bosh - I suspect many won't want Bosh at this slot, opting for one of the next two guys. However, Bosh is young enough, healthy enough, and good enough to form a great long term inside/out tandem with Rose. He's also a capable defender rather than a one way player. He's not a class A level superstar, but his fit is so perfect that it allows the Bulls to get the most out of him.
He's had some minor injuries, but he doesn't pose significant injury risk going forward, his attitude seems good, and his game would mesh well with the team allowing them to get the most out of him.
3: Dwyane Wade - He's a top five player while Bosh isn't, so why not Wade at #2? Simply put, his game occupies the same space on the floor as Derrick Rose. I don't like a backcourt without a guard who can shoot the three. Zone defenses will be extremely effective at stopping this tandem as both rely on penetration at the rim, and the Bulls won't have any one to space the floor. The trio of Rose, Wade, and Deng would be so much worse than the sum of the parts due to the fact that no one onthe team would be a three point threat.
This doesn't address Wade's significant injury risk either, as he's more likely, IMO, to break down than either of the guys listed above him. That all being said, he's obviously a legit superstar, and I'd be thrilled to have him. The total talent level would be immense, but it'd be difficult to get the team to live up to that talent level IMO.
4: Kobe Bryant - Technically, he'll probably be a FA. His age is worrisome, but he's held up magnificently as far as injuries go. He may be a slightly better fit than Wade, but his age makes him a worse target. Plus, the Lakers will never let him leave, nor would he want to leave the Lakers. If he's there, you still have to take him of course.
5: Amare Stoudemire - If he didn't have attitude and health concerns than Stoudemire would be #2 on the list. His offensive talent level is immense when healthy, but his defense is poor, his attitude is crap, his eye is iffy, and his knee won't last six more years. Stoudemire to the Knicks for $120 million seems like an absolute lock to me. The Knicks need to make a splash and won't lure any of the above guys forcing them to gamble on Stoudemire as the next biggest name.
A healthy STAT in the pick and roll with Derrick would scare opposing defenses to death, but there's just so much risk going forward with him long term.
6: Dirk Nowitski - Yeah, he's older, yeah, he probably won't hold up that much longer, but even so, he's a great fit next to Rose for as long as he can hold up. If he was two or three years younger then he'd be awfully high on this list. It will be interesting to see if Dallas locks him up or not.
7: Joe Johnson - Johnson played off the ball in Phoenix, but his off the ball game isn't worth a huge contract. Johnson earns his money in isolation and as a distributor / focal point of the offense. If you wanted a guy to play off the ball, then Gordon would have fit better as he's a better pure shooter and is much quicker coming around screens and pulling up for shots.
Still, Johnson's a very high quality player, and he's a good enough shooter that he still spaces the floor well. He's an okay fit, but the Bulls need a (young version of) Ray Allen more so than they need Joe Johnson.
8: LaMarcus Aldridge - The Bulls would have to pay him the max to gethim and even then Portland might match. Still, until he signs a deal with Portland, he's next on my list. His game would fit in great with Rose, and I'd feel good about him on a long term contract.
9: Carlos Boozer - Real low character and past injuries make him a scary long term sign, but his game fits with Rose, and the Bulls desperately need to upgrade the front court.
10: Rudy Gay - The Bulls could probably win a bidding war with the Grizzlies over Gay, but I'm not a big Gay fan. The one thing I'll say in his defense is that playing for a team like Memphis tends to make your team game look like crap, so he may thrive a bit more in a new environment.
What's interesting about this group is that if I were to speculate as to how much each of them makes. I think only LeBron, Bosh, Wade, and Kobe would be guys that I'd actually bid on. I think Amare, Dirk, Johnson, Aldridge, Boozer, and Gay will all make max or near max money which is more than I feel they'll be worth given either their age, injury history, attitude, talent level, or some combination of those things.
There's a lot of players out there, but there's still more buyers than players. If some of the absolute top guys stay with their present teams then there will be ten teams competing for the second tier guys and max contracts will be handed out like Halloween candy to guys whoa re maybe in the 15-20 range rather than the 1-10 range in terms of total talent in the league.
Now I may have forgotten someone again, so if so go beat me up, though I didn't forget David Lee (not what we need, but probably 11th), Yao Ming (no way this guy is ever effective for consecutive seasons), or Tyrus Thomas (could work his way into the mix with a breakout season).