Marc Spears from Yahoo! Sports had this tidbit in his recent piece:
Two NBA sources said the Chicago Bulls are emerging as one of the leading candidates to land Joe Johnson when the Atlanta Hawks guard becomes a free agent after the season.
Johnson, sources say, is intrigued about teaming up with Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.
Johnson's agent, Arn Tellem, also is close to Bulls chairman Jerry
Reinsdorf and the Bulls would love an elite perimeter shooting threat
to make up for the loss of Ben Gordon.
Joe Johnson is looking a deal that averages well over $15 million over the course of his new contract. Gordon was denied a contract that would have averaged $9 million.
One thing that calms me down is the fact that the article pretty much focus on Johnson's desire to play in Chicago and not vice versa. However, we've seen agent Arn Tellem get the Bulls to sign one of his free agents before, due to his close relationship with Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf.
Does the name Ben Wallace ring a bell?
The Bulls should first and foremost look for a power forward. How would they look if they dropped a top 10 shooting guard for nothing, and even declined to pay him at a reasonable rate, only to sign another shooting guard one year later, for much more money and who isn't all that superior in the first place?
Not good, is my guess.
We'll see. There are always plenty of 2010 rumours out there, and this is just another one. Johnson is an excellent player, but he's also closing in on 30. Maybe it's time to switch philosophy. Get young players (preferably shooters and big forwards) in here, and try to develop them. Do it through the draft, trades and only use the money in free agency if someone like Bosh or James wants to sign.
It's important to remember having cap space also makes the Bulls more flexible in trades. They can absorb large contracts, and perhaps even get an unprotected pick in return by saving some team's finances by removing a solid $15 million worth of contracts.
All in all. The possibilities are there. Settling for Joe Johnson could end up biting the Bulls in the behind.