Amidst these NBA playoffs, the 2010 FA class may be decided. This is why I felt it was so important for the Bulls to be in these playoffs. While some disagreed with me, and may still disagree with me, the momentum the Bulls get by performing in these playoffs makes a huge difference in convincing a FA to come to this team in the off season.
Per NBA Fanhouse, Amare may agree to an extension:
But according to sources with knowledge of the situation, Phoenix is
now determined to keep the five-time All-Star and has offered a
contract extension as recently as last week. While the terms of the
offer are not known, a source close to the 27-year-old Stoudemire said
of the proposal, "they're getting closer [financially] to where they
"We've been having ongoing discussions and talks for a while, but it's
the playoffs," he told FanHouse by phone. "Everyone is trying to focus
on that. The team is the most important thing."
Obviously, Amare signing an extension with the Suns is a bad thing, not only does it take Amare off the Bulls table, but it also takes him off the table for the Heat, who will then compete with the Bulls for the players left.
However, that's where these playoffs may come in and save us.
The Miami Heat are down 0-3 in these playoffs. 0-3 with Wade playing tremendously, and the rest of the team throwing up absolutely nothing. That can't sit well with Wade whom Miami needs to convince to resign themselves before they can be a player for anyone else.
Sure Wade is king of Miami, and he's previously discussed with the general media that he's probably staying, but that was before his entire team completely fell apart around him in these playoffs. Decisions can change, and decisions may not be as certain as they sound when a guy is about to enter the playoffs and doesn't want to make waves or cause distractions.
Meanwhile, the Bulls are playing the Cavs tough as hell through three games, and who knows, maybe LeBron comes out with a vengeance and terminates us, but the truth is, LeBron has played at his peak in the past two games anyway. What more is he really going to do if his teammates don't step up and help him?
Does LeBron rethink Cleveland now after facing a team like the Bulls who make his entire cast look old. Something which isn't getting better next season as Shaq, Z, and Jamison will all come back worse than this year (if Shaq and Z come back at all).
Cleveland doesn't have many cards to improve their team, and LeBron isn't exactly set up in a situation to have a dynasty. They may still be the favorite this year, but if they don't win, then LeBron has to face facts that if he stays his odds of winning are going down next season and not up.
If LeBron leaves Cleveland than the blueprint the Bulls laid down by running them out of the gym may be a factor in that decision, and what team really looks more attractive than the Bulls to join?
Finally, Chris Bosh gets to compare the Heat and Bulls side by side. Let's face it, even with Dwyane Wade, the Heat can't compete against an aging Celtics team while the Bulls are competing with a vastly better Cleveland team led by the best player in the NBA.
Which team looks better to join now?
So while the plans of individuals may shift and change down the stretch, nothing but good has come out of the Bulls playoff performance so far.