Now the world is talking LeBron to....

With the Cavs loss last night, the NBA world is on the edge of it's seat.   The game five winner in a tied series goes on to win the series 83% of the time (per my ESPN radio trip this morning), what's more, Boston has gone 31-1 when they've been the game five winner in this situation (worth nothing the time they failed was last season though) while Cleveland has gone 0-4.  

I don't buy into the team records mattering, and honestly, I think this is still one of those times ripe for an upset (if you view the Cavs coming back as an upset) because I still think Cleveland is the better team.  

That being said, it's more fun to speculate about the Cavaliers losing and what that means to LeBron James.   Most of the world, including myself, is of the opinion that if the Cavs get knocked out in round two that LeBron is out of here.  

I just spent a day ripping on Joe Johnson for getting knocked out in round two all the time, so clearly this isn't good enough for James. 

The real question becomes where is he going to if he gets knocked out, and I think the only realistic choices are Chicago, New York, Miami, and New Jersey.  Now if LeBron leaves because he's ousted in the second round then presumably, he wants to win.   That appears to eliminate New Jersey from the mix given that they don't have the room to add a second max FA, and they obviously aren't close to winning now.

Perhaps New Jersey's chances improve if they win the lottery, but James banking on a rookie to improve the Nets that much is unlikely even if the rookie is John Wall or Evan Turner.

Which brings us down to Chicago, New York, and Miami.    Miami and New York can sign two max FAs.   In Miami, Dwyane Wade is obviously going to be the robin to LeBron's batman, or is he?    If LeBron goes to Miami, then you wonder if LeBron is clearly the number one guy there.   To me he is, but to Miami fans who've already won a championship behind Wade, perhaps not.

Talk's floated around the NBA media in the past of who is better LeBron or Wade, and though such talk is ridiculous (it's LeBron), it would likely become the national story.   Does LeBron want that situation?   Pehaps he does, perhaps he doesn't, I can't pretend to know.   On the downside, after Wade, Miami has virtually nothing, though the pair are probably good enough to win by themselves and should attract a complement of ring chasers.

New York is in a similar situation except their Robin definitely won't be Dwyane Wade.   They would likely attract LeBron + Bosh/Amare.   That's a better talent fit with LeBron, and there'd be no doubt who the best guy on the team is.   The idea of playing in the mega market likely appeals to him as well.

New York is the most questionable destination, because their entire pitch depends on them attracting someone with LeBron.   It really comes down to LeBron and another big name star talking to each other and agreeing to go to the Knicks.   It could work, and the Knicks have a couple pieces in Wilson Chandler and Danilo Galinari that could help if two stars were on the roster.

The Knicks are also willing to spend an unlimited amount of money to improve the team even if it only amounts to MLEs because of their cap situation.  Knick fans have to like their chances now a lot more than before, and if Donnie Walsh's crazy gamble of opening room for two max FAs pays off then, then he'll become a legend.

That leaves us with the Bulls.   Of all the teams left, the Bulls have by far the best mix of present talent.   If LeBron joins the Bulls there are no contingencies of adding a piece here or there.   They just need LeBron.   The Bulls have a capable player at every position on the floor, and a bench to match.  

Plus, the Bulls still have the potential (though it's a long shot) to work out a S&T with Hinrich/Deng involved to bring in a second max FA to play with LeBron, Rose, and Noah.

If the Cavs fall to the Celtics, Chicago still probably isn't the favorite, but Cleveland's odds of keeping him will fall dramatically, and Chicago's will raise significantly along with New York's and Miami's.    I'd probably give the Bulls roughly even odds (slightly less) with the other top destinations for him this off-season if that happens.

It's interesting enough that it makes me consider renewing those season tickets.

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  • THIS JUST IN:

    Chris Brousard of ESPN.com was on "Mike and Mike in the Morning" and he said that CHICAGO is the desitination for LBJ, if he decides to leave CLEVELAND.

    He also said that Cleveland would NOT do a sign-and-trade basically telling LBJ that if you want to leave $30 million on the table, then so be it.

    Lastly, Chris Brousard felt like Mike Brown would have to be FIRED and replaced for LBJ to stay in Cleveland. Coincidentally, JOHN CALIPARI was sitting pretty close to DAN GILBERT, the Cleveland Cavaliers owner, last night during the game.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Now the BULLS just need to add MO CHEEKS as coach and DERRICK BYARS and this team will win a CHAMPIONSHIP.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I'm impressed you feel a need to copy me in order to have someone pay attention to your LAIM posts.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    *LAME

  • I really (REALLY) dislike the Celtics, but man was last night's game great. I still think there's a 90% chance Cleveland comes back and destroys Boston in the next two games, but at least we can dream a little bit. Everything you said was spot on, except for (I think) the possible debate over who's the alpha dog in Miami. I gotta think that stuff would be cleared up by the first week or so. There'd probably be enough stories in the local TV/papers - no doubt welcoming the "New King in Town", and so on and so forth - to cement his status as "A-1" to Wade's "A-2".

    I mentioned in a comment to one of your other posts that I'm in favor of signing Calipari in an effort to lure Lebron, but if by some miracle the Cavs actually do get knocked out by Boston, then we're going to need to make that move quickly afterward.

  • As sick as it makes me I'll be hoping Rondo has a monster game in Boston, because Boston knocking out the Cavs is the lucky break we need. Game 5 has to be the wake up call for LeBron: if he has a bad game nobody in Cleveland is going to pick up the slack. It's going to get worse, not better, for him if he stays in Cleveland because his help, such as it is, is getting older and worse.

    I really can't see him staying if he's knocked out. I also can't see the Cavs helping him leave, so that just leaves the teams with cap space.

    Honestly if NY wasn't NY you could count them out. The don't have anything at the moment other than a nice 3 point shooter in Galinari. Even with Amare or Bosh, I don't think they're quite good enough. Surely the attraction of playing in NY can't trump the fact they're a couple of years of using the MLE away from having a team?

    Where I'd disagree with you though is on Miami. I think if you put LeBron on that team they're better right now than if you put LeBron on the Bulls. LeBron and Wade are both clearly top 5 players. That's one hell of a core, I think their role players are enough. The only advantage the Bulls really have is that Rose's age and Wade's injury history make the Bulls the better long term bet.

  • Chris Brousard doesnt really give up any great info but if what he said was true than thats great.

    All we would need is a Ray Allen type and maybe do a sign and trade to bring in Bosh or Boozer or something and thats championship right there.

  • THIS JUST IN:

    Chris Brousard was on Sportscenter Live and said his gut tells him that LBJ goes to the Bulls.

    Either he knows what he is talking about or he just wants attention.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Or I just want ATTENTION.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    You are a DORK (imposter).

    We ALL know who the real MrHappy is.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I am the REAL MrHappy. No one knows the NBA and the DRAFT like I do. MO CHEEKS is #1.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    and DERRICK BYARS is #2.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Your posts are obviously laim so you have to copy me.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    *LAME

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Ha! You just outed yourself! The real Mr. Happy can't spell!

  • In reply to WearShades:

    It is highly likely that the fake Mr Happy is also the real Mr Happy just looking for more attention.

    This also gives him the opportunity to get on both sides of an issue, so that he can later claim to have been right, regardless of the issue or outcome.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I missed that.

    But I did see him slow dancing with John Calipari in the tunnel of the arena.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    LOL

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Jerry Reinsdorf could end up being the luckiest owner alive lol Buying the Chicago Bulls was a good deal for him lol Reinsdoft has said the only way he will pay is if we have a shot at the title. And with LeBron we will have a shot...so he better pay up for some more players!

    But ya if we do end up landing LeBron...I bet anything that guys will be coming here to play for low salaries! Bulls bench will end up being really good imo.

  • LBJ leaving could be great for the Bulls. I think he either goes to Miami or Chicago. And, if he goes to Miami, that means Miami won't be able to sign Bosh too, so that makes the Bulls the odds on favorite for Bosh, right?

  • In reply to edwardbuell:

    Lebron and Wade in Miami would not be good for Bulls fans. Even if you get Bosh, I'm not sure Rose, Bosh and Noah could beat Lebron and Wade.

    If you rank those five players, the top two would be in Miami:
    1) Lebron
    2) Wade
    3) Rose
    4) Bosh
    5) Noah

    Therefore, I don't think the Bulls could beat a Lebron/Wade combo in Miami.

    And yes, Rose is better than Bosh. It's not even debatable.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I rarely disagree with you KW, but Bosh is absolutely better than Rose right now. I expect that to change very soon, but right now Bosh is the better player.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Looks like we are disagreeing on Bosh - again. I'm just not a big fan.

    My thinking is that to get him, it probably requires a S&T, which will cost Taj and that 1st rounder from Charlotte, at least. Then Deng or Hinrich... I'd hate to be sitting around with Bosh underperforming in a couple seasons and watch that Charlotte pick turn into a #1 (and I also like Kirk and Deng). Maybe I'm just paranoid.

    We'll see what happens. Soon a decision will be made and we'll find out if it was the right one over the next couple seasons.

    This is tougher than I thought it would be. Six months ago? Just sign one of these guys. Now? Glad I'm not Gar/Pax. They have to decide and then get plastered by the press regardless.

    I'm hoping for the best.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Well, Taj was a pleasant surprise, but he can easily be replaced. This is a very deep draft for bigs, and a couple will be available who should be able to immediately replace his output from last year. Though that's not taking into account any off season improvement. Once we're contenders, it will also be much easier to sign capable role players.

    The Charlotte pick is iffy on so many levels. It would be nice to hold on to it, but you have to worry about Charlotte staying decent, the lottery balls not falling in their favor, and just plain drafting a bust. Bosh is more of a sure thing, and I really think his game will be better with Rose and Noah than it has been in Toronto.

    Well, we'll see.

  • In reply to WearShades:

    Dannnnng this is gonna get good!

    Coach Cal sitting at the end of the Cavs bench last night! With LeBron and his agent. No wonder why Bulls are interested.

    Bulls website has a picture of Jeremy Piven on the front page. Who recently just went out to dinner with Urlacher and LeBron.

    LeBron said he loves our city and spent 3 years here when he was in high school.

    Had a party at a Chicago club during the series with the Bulls.

    All these things are coming together a little bit. LeBron to Chiago would be INCREDIBLE. Rose,Noah,Bron,Deng,Taj,Kirk....i like that a lot. Maybe Xavier Henry in that mix.

  • Chris Broussard's comments.

    http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=5182749

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    although he forgets to mention DERRICK BYARS and how the BULLS would have won a CHAMPIONSHIP this year if they had kept him on the ROSTER.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I don't like imposters. Get a LIFE goof.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I don't like IMPOSTERS. Stop trying to be ME.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    You are LAIM.

    I know you wish you have the ability to actually come up with thoughtful posts about the Bulls, but clearly you can't so you have to copy me.

    LAIM to the enth degree!!!

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    *LAME

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    It's Nth degree.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Wouldnt it be great if the Celtics broke out in a line dance at the end of game 6? Anybody seen Baseketball? That reminds me so much of Professional sports today more than it did when the movie came out. I dont really see Lebron leaving, I mean he's lived in Cleveland his whole life, his family and friends live there, I still have a hard time seeing him leave, even if his team is garbage, which if Jamario YMCA Moon didnt have games of his life against the bulls, then the bulls would have won more games in their series.

  • Reputation is a funny thing. Cavs won what 61 games? Celtics lost something like 10 out of 17 down the stretch including to the Bulls on Boston's home court and in Chicago where D-Rose lit them up.

    Cavs have LeBron aka Mr. Two Time MVP. So easy to see who the better team here is right? Wrong. I really felt the Cavs were way overrated. I'm not going to be Mr. Know-It-All B.S. guy and say I thought Boston would play like this. No, I didn't think they had it any more. Especially since Pierce seemed like a no-show in games against the Bulls. And Rondo. Sh*t. 29/13/18 board triples?

    But the Cavs. I mean come on. Regular season you've got LeBron flying around through non-playoff type of defenses, with ref hype/money driven instructions to call a foul every time he farts. And decent guys playing at other positions with bascially a solid defensive team. But who are the winners who have bonded in a relationship over time with tough playoff losses and gritty mettle forging breakouts to win hard fought playoff battles?

    What Mo Williams..? Stop me when the laughter gets tiresome. And fat old Shaq. Other then last nights easy dunks off some mishandled picks/double teams he's been nothing. OK, who else you got? Antwan Jamison? And his record of winning is...? He's a solid player, but has he ever shown the presence of being a late game stud or big game when it counts winner? If so it's news to me.

    And the coach. Mike Brown with his scrunched eyed, nose crinkling, tooth bearing stares looks like the quintessential nerd. Decent coach maybe, but playoff strategist and in game general problem solver? Has never appeared so to me.

    LeBron defensively is solid one on one, but his highlight rep/all defensive first team comes mainly from his runout blocks. He's not an outstanding read the offensive intent, leave his man, go block a lot fo shots from behind/steal the ball guy like a Jordan or even a Dumars. I don't care what his overall block and steal totals are you show me that in big playoff games.

    Offensively he has looked like Mike with his shooting and unstoppability. But what else does Cleveland really have in a playoff setting. How many 60 win Dallas's are out there? Apparently since this El Foldo has happened a couple of times now in recent years a few.

    LeBron personality wise to me just seems hollow as hell. He's been so spoiled by Cleveland. I mean they actually have a plastic device they use as to not get messy when their noses are habitually parked up his crack(sorry). Did he really tell them to get Shaq and Antwan Jamison?

    Well, LeBron, the chickens are coming hom to roost. Soft and spoiled will get you some bad karma. Ther'es no way, unless the Celtics fold, that after kicking the Cavs and LeBron's ass by thrity on their home court in the most pivotal "I have to be ready and compete game of the series" that they don't take out Cleveland in this next game. And if they don't they'd be just as lame as the Cavs have proven to be.

    Wow, LeBron to Chicago, LeBron to Chicago!! Yeah, I'd still be geeked if we get him, but he needs to wake up and realize he's not a G.M., and he's not the be all and end all shit yet by any means. Dude, get your head out of your ass. Please.... and then come to Chicago.

  • In reply to MarkNorman:

    Lebron to Chicago may be the best thing for him organization-wise, too. The Bulls mgmt is just as stubborn than he is. He may be the superstar, but they will remind him that they are mgmt and will ultimately make moves on their own time (regardless of reason).

  • Did anybody see Lebron dancing behind the Cavs' bench last night?
    I missed it too.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Yea, no dancing Lebron...

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Let's not forget, should the Cavs manage to get by the Celts, they still have Orlando waiting for them. For as mediocre as the Cavs have looked in the playoffs thus far, Orlando has looked impressive. I can't see the Cavs getting past the Magic right now.

    So, LeBron will have to ask himself if he sees anyway for the Cavs to compete for a title in the next couple of seasons. As of now, it doesn't appear likely.

    I'd agree with Doug that Chicago or NY would probably give LeBron the best chance to win a title; should that be a motivating factor for him.

  • Of course it's speculation.

    And Broussard does like attention, but I guess there is a possibility that LBJ could leave Cleveland for Chicago.

    Personally, I would rather have DWADE or MELO.

  • The point you are missing is that Cleveland isn't interested in a S&T.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    The point that you are missing, which is the point by the way is that Lebron doesn't have to and will not ask them for one.

    He will just choose where he wants to go and leave for a 3,4 or 5 year deal, knowing full well that he is both young enough and good enough to get another full deal at the end of this one.

  • The only reason I don't think Bron wouldn't want a three year deal is because of the upcoming cba agreement expiring. He could lose a lot of money from reports earlier in the year.

  • In reply to TheStig:

    That is a valid point, however, Lebron will be 29 at the end of a 3 year deal, allowing to sign one more 5 or 6 year deal before he retires.

    If he goes 5 years now, he will be 31 and limited to a 4 year deal at that time, so a 3 year deal now probably maximizes his lifetime earnings.

    this being said, the uncertainty of the new CBA is a factor which could lead him to sign a longer contract but not necessarily seek out a S&T.

  • Lebron/Wade is better than Lebron/Bosh. I don't think the other players really matter after that.

    But, maybe I'm alone on this anti-Bosh thing.

    If Wade and Bosh both wanted to sign with the bulls (no S&T), all things equal, you'd go with Bosh? Is that your stance? I think you have made that point before, but just to clarify.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    It seems to me that both Lebron and Wade would have trouble getting the ball enough if they were on the court together. I think the best distribution of players, for the players sakes, would be either Rose or Wade with either Lebron or Bosh.

    Probably the most balanced combination, not necessarily the best, but most balanced would be Rose and Bosh.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Actually, if you think about it the Bulls are in at least as strong of a position as NY and Miami.

    While they can sign 2 max guys. Many if not all(except Lebron)will want an S&T to get the 6th year and extra money. Miami and NY have virtually nothing to offer in a S&T. Although it is the player not the team that has the power in a S&T.

    So even if Wade stays n Miami and/or New York signs Lebron, both teams would have to come up with a S&T to add Bosh. The Bulls have by far the best collection of assets to offer in a S&T, starting with Deng.

    So unless Lebron wants to sign with Miami we should be able to get Lebron first at 3,4,5 years whatever he wants. Then we can go after Bosh with a S&T starting with Deng, who would be out of a job with the Bulls anyway.

    I think that the Bulls are arguably in the best position of any team to land 2 top guys. They just have to do the work.

    Of course, it is all still up to Lebron. First he has to decide to leave Cleveland, which he might have already done. Then he has to decide where he wants to be, maybe he has already done this, maybe not. The Bulls just have to be there at 12:01 and present the most compelling case possible. and that is not just about showing him the money.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    ANNOUNCEMENT:

    The list of pre-draft camp participants has been announced.

    http://realgm.com/src_wiretap_archives/66535/20100512/nba_announces_pre_draft_camp_participants/

    Chicago is once again the host.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    I think Doug is more of a fit guy, than a get the best player guy and worry about what happens later.

    According to Doug, Lebron and Bosh is a better fit than Wade and Lebron, just as Rose and Bosh is a better fit than Rose and Wade.

    this is not an illegitimate argument by any means. It sort of depends on if and by how much you think that Wade is better than Bosh.

    If you think that they are close to equal then fit might make the difference. If you think that Bosh is a softie and Wade has the killer instinct of a champion(he seems to have proven that he does) then you go with Wade and worry about the fit later.

    I would want Wade over Bosh, but even though I do fear that there is something soft and weak about Bosh, I am certainly not going to cry if we have to setlle for just getting Bosh.

    But I would rather get Lebron or Wade first, and then S&T for Bosh using Deng, or even Deng for Kevin Love.

    I am not giving up on that one, especially as I continue to read that Love is not happy in Minny.

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    Mr Happy...thanks for the info

    Schaumburg Fan i agree...those things will probably happen..dont know about the winning the finals thing but it could happen lol

    Barrick Obama and Oprey Winfrey WE NEED YOU to help recruit lol!

  • In reply to KenyattaWright:

    it is suggested above that the Bulls Bench would be a selling point to LeBron...that seems far fetched considering the number of players they have under contract for next season.....I suspect the "roster fillers" will play a big role in next years season but I cannot imagine who those players will be.

  • In reply to drob:

    If we manage to sign Lebron, I damn well hope our front office immediately leaves the cap in their rearview mirror.

  • In reply to drob:

    I would not mind LBJ playing with the Bulls but at the same time I hope the Bulls can surpass Cleveland with James on the team and every other team in the league to win the championship. I would love for the Bulls to have a rivalry with this team and the Bulls Kicking their ass most of the time. The Bulls has to make all of the right moves though.

  • In reply to drob:

    I'm just thinking... got the number 1 pick and got hometown boy D.Rose, lost 10 games and still managed to get to the playoffs because Bosh got injured, now if Cleveland flames out and LeBron walks to Chicago... I think somebody up there is a Bulls fan.

  • In reply to boogernights:

    Getting Michael Jordan and then lucking into Lebron James..... somebody up their would have to be a Jerry Reinsdorf fan.

  • I am forecasting:
    1. LeBron will be throwing out the first pitch of a WhiteSox game sometime in July
    2. LeBron will be singing the 7th inning stretch song during July 2010.
    3. LeBron and the Bulls will be playing the OKC Thunder or Utah Jazz in the finals. If it is Utah Jazz, Rose steals/pushes off Deron Williams to score the final basket to win game 6.

    With all the previous discussed advantages ...
    His MidWest roots and the need for the big city plus using maybe the president to sell him to Chicago and the knowledge that Jerry Krause definitely is not coming back to the Bulls will help him sign...

  • For what it is worth, I saw him on Mike and Mike, and he said that people that he has spoken to who are close to Lebron tell him that Chicago is first in line.

    So it is not exactly his opinion only, but it could just be the usual B.S. coming from these guys who need to pump themsleves up to make a living.

  • I totally agree with you here, Lebron is the only guy who doesn't need/want a S&T. This is good news for the Bulls, since it allows us to sign him first, then use an S&T to get Bosh or anyone else.

  • Well the Knicks guys aren't that good: Gallinari looked really good early when he was hitting threes at an insane rate but tailed off to put up numbers that really aren't that impressive. He also doesn't do much else than shoot the three decently. And Chandler is ideally a bench player on a good team, if you include him you may as well say the Heat have Mario Chalmers.

    I think Beasley would be gone in a trade (no use for a scorer when you have two of the best in the league), and the Heat could probably get a decent vet back for him, he's still got potential. They'd also still have a bit of space to resign Haslem, help in a trade or make some other signing.

    But basically I think it comes down to the top two guys, and Wade is just so much better than Bosh or Rose. You've got two great scorers who are also excellent passers and defenders at the SG and SF position ... I see no reason why LeBron and Wade wouldn't work like Jordan and Pippen. They just need to find a rebounder to play the Rodman/Grant role and they're set (at least until Wade breaks down).

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