Are we so scared to admit the obvious?

Since the Cavaliers lost in the playoffs, the speculation of where LeBron James would play next year has run rampant.   I've seen many Bulls fans get awfully excited over the possibility, but most of us (including myself) still feel too hesitant to commit to the idea emotionally.   It's simply hard to accept that we could get that lucky.

It makes me wonder, should we simply take things at face value here or are we right to be cautious with our emotions on this one?
Taking it on face value:
1: Chris Broussard reported that LeBron has Chicago at the top of his list.
2: Adrian Wojnarowski reported that World Wide Wes is whispering LeBron wants to come to Chicago
3: There have been no reports from other sources that LeBron wants to go to a different team, simply opinion pieces that a different team might work better.
4: LeBron has taken several actions to divorce himself from Cleveland (including not being that involved in their coaching search or whether various FO people stay or leave, the first time LeBron hasn't been running the show and giving input for quite some time)
5: Out of the team's he could go to, only Miami can put together as much talent, but he's not the clear #1 player in Miami (which may or may not be important to him).
6: LeBron loves Chicago and works out here in the summers anyway.
7: LeBron grew up a Bulls / Jordan fan, not a Cavs fan.

The arguments against Chicago right now simply aren't based on much except conjecture.   He could possibly put together a superstar trio in Miami with Wade and Bosh.   He'll want to play for the bright lights of NY.   He won't want to leave home.   Any of those things might be possible, but we haven't really read credible reports pointing to them.

I can make the case for Miami.   Wade and LeBron would become instant favorites to win, and they still might be able to add Bosh with a S&T to Toronto.  I believe all three guys can still get the max if Toronto takes back Beasley/Chalmers in a S&T.   The rest of the roster would be minimum salary players, but with those three what else would you need?   They'd be the favorite for as long as they remained healthy, and would likely be completely unstoppable.

The downside to that plan is simply that LeBron would never get the same impact on his legacy if he wins with Wade and Bosh as teammates.  Wade would retire with more rings, and LeBron wouldn't be the clear leader.  Heck, he might not even win finals MVP and end up  stuck in the situation with Kobe where people start trying to figure out how much to weigh his first three titles in historical context because he wasn't the best player.

The case for New York is somewhat compelling too.  He can bring Bosh with him most likely, and they'll still be one of the top teams even if not the pure favorite out the gates in year one.   The extra money New York brings would be large, and the media attention would fly through the roof. 

However, he's stated he's serious about winning titles, and even with Chris Bosh, that team looks like it could be pretty far away.   LeBron + Bosh + Galinari + Douglas + Chandler + 7 guys at the minimum isn't a title team in year one, and they don't have much in the way of assets to get there in years two+ either.

The case for Cleveland is simply built around his loyalty to the city.  Is LeBron that loyal to Cleveland?   I don't know, maybe.  I'm sure he loves it there and is used to it there, but when given the "do it for the city" speech, he's responded that he needs to do what's best for him, so I don't think that pull is strong enough.

If he stays in Cleveland, he's highly unlikely to win in the next three years.   They don't have the players around him now, nor do they have any assets to get better.    They aren't getting good draft picks, don't have cap room to spend, and much of their talent is in serious decline (Shaq, Z, Jamison).  

When you add everything up, Chicago feels like the perfect combination of money, winning, and a city LeBron would want to play in.   They could potentially add Chris Bosh via S&T to complement him, and they'd be the overwhelming favorite to win the title for the next five seasons. 

Yet unlike the Miami situation, they'd be the favorite in such a way that leaves LeBron as the undisputed alpha dog of the team.  He'd have tons of marketing opportunities in Chicago, and despite NY's population, travel around the world, and the Knicks are an unknown entity relative to the Bulls.  Chicago actually has the #1 fanbase world wide due to his Airness, and LeBron wants worldwide branding.

When I look at the facts, no team should have a better chance than Chicago.  In fact, the facts tell me that Chicago maybe has a high enough chance to be taken over the field, but I can't commit.   I can't get my hopes up that high, not yet, not out loud.  But in April I swore this was my last year as a season ticket holder and in May put down my deposit for next year.

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  • It's almost like the worst kept secret in the NBA.

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Take a breath and prepare for the fall from Cloud 9 just in case.

  • In reply to souleater7:

    I know how you feel Doug. Most Bull fans are trying hard to shoot down any actual evidence that Lebron wants to come. After T-mac and Kobe, I think we just feel like good enough is what we deserve.

    I am not gonna get my hopes us. I feel like Lebron could be easily choose someone else as a suprise. The Clippers are good and havent seen much media attention. Could they be real contenders. Is money the most important factor cause then NY could be the lead. Is it Loyalty cause then its Cle. IF its winning Longterm, its probably Us but I think you could make a case for NJ but noy really since they lost out on Wall. If they somehow got Chris Paul like rumors suggest then I might be concerned.

    I think Bulls fans are basically ok with not winning Now. The idea of having another dynasty only 12 seasons after the original one is scary and unrealistic in their opinions. The whole, "Could it really be that simple", mindset comes in and its unbelievable. So we choose not to believe it.

    I for one think its a ploy. I dont think he is leaving and unless he comes out and says he is and coming to the Bulls I wont buy into it. I cant. My heart cant take that kind of stress.

  • I too think he is coming, but I am not 100% positive. When he signs, then I will be very very happy

  • I just keep telling myself Garnett was coming, Gasol was coming, Kobe was coming. Now obviously all those situations required a trade and this one LeBron can just come here, but the media gets it wrong quite frequently with their rumor mill.

  • I think it would be WISE for the Bulls' managment and their fans to consider a back-up plan.

    #1.) If Derrick Rose remains the teams BATMAN, then bringing in Mo Cheeks would be a good thing.

    * It's a good thing, if he ends up being a ROBIN for that matter.

    #2.) Drafting a SG (George, Anderson, Henry or Pondexter) would round out the young CORE.

    * If the Bulls whiff on landing a BIG FISH, at least they would be solid at each position.

    #3.) Trading Hinrich and getting Bosh FIRST and FOREMOST would strengthen their appeal.

    * It also gives them more options and power. LBJ, DWADE, JJ and maybe MELO ALL get put in play.

    The Bulls' management has to be AGGRESSIVE this off-season and GO ALL IN, not half-ass.

    * There's just too much at stake!!!

  • I wouldnt personally if I was a cavs fan. I think that last playoff effort was either Lebron checking out or something ended his relationship with that organization that night. I dont think the whole Delonte and Lebron's Mom stuff is true but maybe.

    I think Cavs fans know that Lebron will come in next year with a lesser team and that may scare him off. If they dont bring in Bosh or something I doubt it happens.

  • Doug, could Bosh sign and be traded before july 1st?

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    No

  • In reply to scottplummer:

    But it can be arranged. Legally even. Toronto can talk to him, and we can talk to Toronto.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    I think the big domino is where Bosh will go. If he goes to Miami, then Chicago has a good chance of getting LeBron. If Bosh goes to NY, it is probably because LeBron will go there. If Bosh comes to the Bulls, then LeBron will probably come to Chicago.

    But the deal is we have to see if Toronto will accept the pieces the Bulls give for S & T for Bosh.

    The Question is:
    Will David Lee do a S & T with NY and Toronto? Are the Bulls pieces better than the other pieces for Toronto not only in terms of talent but also money.

    Also, what new thing will LeBron learn between now and July 1st? Will Cleveland pull off some major trade on draft day?

    After all this...I think you are right. No other team with cap space has Rose/Noah. Most winning teams have a min of 3 players matchup better than the other team's similar players and also have a good bench. Rose/Noah can be better than the other team's similar players on most nights.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    "Reinsdorf's group gives up on Coyotes". Hope he can now dump all his chips on the bulls, so we can go ALL IN on james and bosh!

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    We have to stay guarded as Bulls fans...too many letdowns. We should be Lebron's obvious choice but Pat Riley may have a few tricks up his sleeve. Also, LA presents a good team that Lebron could win with as well. Just b/c Chicago is the best choice doesn't mean Lebron will make it.

    I wonder how the Bulls org will perceive his whole "Summer of Love Myself" Nike tour. It may turn them off w/his fanfare and entourage and all. I have this feeling they will say something to turn Lebron off come July. What do you think Doug?

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    I would like for Lebron to sign with the Bulls but I feel like everyone else, there it too much talk about him signing with the Bulls and I do believe something else is going on behind closed doors. Who knows what this guy is really thinking and after this free agent period is over with we will all know what Lebron is really all about. If he is about winning he will sign with the Bulls, If he is about winning a championship quickly meaning maybe next year and playing second fiddle to Wade he will sign with Miami, if he is all about making big money then NY or NJ is where he will sign, and if he decides to sign with the Clippers he will really be playing second fiddle to Kobe, Phil and the Lakers and with the Clippers history everyone will wonder if Lebron has really lost his mind. Bottom line... he may have 8 to 10 more good years in front of him and if he is really serious about winning championships, he needs to start trying to do it now cause like he said... he can't play forever. Bulls fans lets hope this guy is as wise as he says he is cause I am sure if any of us were in his shoes and had to make this big decision where to give myself the best chance to win multiple championships and we knew that the Bulls already had a good young nucleus of players then Chicago is where we would sign.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    I'm starting to feel tentatively confident. A few weeks ago, I was hopeful but skeptical. Right now, I am convinced the Bulls are the leaders. I'm still a bit worried about Miami and to a lesser degree that he might, at the end of the day, not have the nerve to leave Cleveland, even though I'm pretty sure that he has already decided to do so. I'd put it as a 51% chance he signs with the Bulls.

  • In reply to muhammond:

    Same here, except I'm not getting too detailed with my confidence. With the way things have gone so far, and the way we're being talked about in the press, I'm confident we'll get someone in the top tier. It seems like where we are now, no matter what Lebron decides, it's going to help us.

    But that's with my firm belief he and Bosh won't end up in NY with a coach who consistently struggled in the playoffs with a loaded roster.

    The only thing that still worries me a bit is if he and Bosh end up in Miami, but that would be tough for Riley to pull off. And even then, we become front runners for everyone else left. I really don't think Lee or Amare and Morrow would be a failure. With our depth and huge rebounding advantage, I think we could hang with a team of Wade, Lebron, Bosh, and a bunch of minimums.

  • In reply to 1096ballenf:

    Oh, and two more things. Great point about the Bulls world-wide recognition. This point is too often ignored in the NYC B-ball Mecca Media Capital hype. The Bulls are by far the bigger global brand, and we all know LeBron is aware of global marketing implications.

    Also, a question about #7. LeBron grew up a Bulls fan? It wouldn't shock me, just the way Derrick Rose's favorite player is LeBron despite growing up in Chicago, but this is a tidbit I've never heard before. Is this a well known fact?

  • In reply to muhammond:

    This is a fact. He said he was a Bulls fan and a Jordan fan as a kid. He said it in the Larry King interview and also the Oprah interview a little while back. He said Cavs tickets were too expensive and he watched the Bulls dynasty on tv.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Well, in that case, I really believe. Changing his number to 6 a year before free agency. Things that make you go hmmn . . . ;)

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Except for the Lakers, no other team has really built multiple dynasties after 1970's. All winners drafted a superstar(Bird,MJ,Duncan) unlike Lakers(signed Shaq, traded for Kobe(draft day)). Even the Lakers were down for a period of 8-10 years. Hopefully, the Bulls don't waste Rose like Minnesota did with Garnett.
    That's why we are not sure LeBron will come here. And there are teams such as Miami who have used the downtime of Bulls. Miami was a useless franchise in 2000 compared to Chicago.

    Another point is, if we don't sign a big time FA ...we are doomed. OKC, Portland seem to be the teams of the future.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    What should we do with deng? he's not quite a 3 pt shooter(even though he's not terrible at it). he's not a pf. he's definately not a 2 guard.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    I think we use Deng in a sign and trade if we can...otherwise I can see a Rose James Deng Bosh Noah starting line up looking pretty nice....or we move Deng and get a real 2 guard in the draft...imo

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    In reply to kbar17:

    Follow the money.
    Doug's best point, imo is that the Bulls are huge globally. Lebron has previously stated that he wants to be basketball's first billionaire. If he is serious about that (and why on God's green Earth wouldn't he be?) then Chicago is far and away the best choice for him from an NBA marketing perspective. Especially since he can win here.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    I don't think being a Bulls fan when you are a kid makes a difference. Almost every NBA player of LeBron's age was a MJ/Bulls fan when they were young.
    The only selling points realistically are the chance to win and money making ability

  • In reply to kbar17:

    awesome site: www.lebrose.com- pretty cool stuff. support the cause> LEBROSE.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Lol Im scared...but thats just because i think its pretty obvious what team he should go to! CHICAGO!!!!!

    1. He says he wants to win multiple titles...Thats not going to happen with a very old Cavs team....the Bulls are super young, most of them in their mid 20's or younger right now. Rose is 21...thats the main 1.

    2. He signed this contract to get to this point. 3 years ago he said, i want options if im not winning titles, i dont want to be stuck in Cleveland. Now he has the options and pretty good 1's at that. Plus he was a big Bulls fan. You have to think that kind of excites him.

    3. He even told Larry King, he doesnt care to pick his coach...he said there are plenty of good coaches out there. So what do the Bulls do after he says this...they go out and hire the best available coach. Cleveland offers HUGE money to a college coach...college coaches might work if you have young players, but Clevelands team is filled with older veterens...i dont think that works.

    4. Since Thibodeau just signed with the same agency as LeBron, i think this also means Thibs and his agent can go and talk with LeBron pretty much anytime he wants too...Behind closed doors....and the NBA probably wont be able to do anything about it because they wont know about anything. So i think thats a great advantage that we have...Gar/Pax can relay messages through Thibs and he can tell LeBron. Deff. a plus imo.

    So ya, Im scared, but im scared because i know he should come because it just seems so obvoius. Just like when i was hoping the Bulls picked D Rose. Hopefully it happens!!!!!

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Honestly, the notion that LeBron won't want to go to Miami simply because Wade will have one more ring then him? I suppose it's possible, but if that's his deciding factor then he's not really interested in winning. The best place to win is the best place to win whether someone already has one ring or not.

    If Miami gets Bosh in a S&T for (Mrs.) Beasley then I'd say we're screwed. Still, even though Wade is a superstar, he also at 29 has had serious down time/inury issues. Do you really want to tie your horses to that wagon long term?

    With the Bulls getting the hot playoff 'D' commodity in Thibodeau, once again in the Finals, who just knocked off Lebron, I think his attraction could be a significant factor. Really, Derrick scored what 27 ppg in the playoffs with no legit scoring star partner(s). If Thibs can get his creating contact/free throw attempts per game up even to six a game and improve Derrick's defensive fundamentals..? I Think Derrick and Thibs right now with Joakim and Taj or especially if they land Bosh in a sign and trade is very enticing. It really depends on where Bosh wants to go and what Toronto wants back dumping salary, draft picks, a particular package of players..?

    The Bulls certainly have more core pieces then Miami. I'm not convinced Wade, Bosh, and Lebron with a hamstrung payroll for the next three years win two or more rings. The winning move right now is for Lebron to come to Chicago(or L.A.)

  • In reply to kbar17:

    And in the face of all this overwhelming evidence we get the Vescey report stating that a "source" believes Lebron will resign a 3 year deal with the Cavs and then go to join Jay-Z if (when) they don't win. Again, another report just not supported by fact instead spouted out by an anonymous source and pulled from Peter Vescey's ass.

    So we are expected to believe that Lebron (who wants to win) has already committed to the Cavs in spite of the fact they have no coach, no GM, are trying desperately to peddle their garbage (aka Mo and Delonte) no capspace or draft prospects in the hopes that he can go to the NBA's worst team and in 3 years? Given the fact that Nets have chances to improve, who knows if/how they will be for signing Lebron in 3 years! Hmmm...

    Or he can go to the Bulls now... Coach (CHECK), Team (CHECK), Guards better than Mo and Delonte (CHECK), Big Market (CHECK), Home to childhood hero (CHECK), chance to win now, not maybe in 3 years (CHECK).

    I honestly believe that given the circumstances, if Lebron chose Cleveland, Miami, Jersey and especially New York over us he would have to be retarded and would not deserve to win ANY titles, much less the four or five he would get if we could pull off him and Bosh to us! The only things that support him going elsewhere are NOT grounded in fact. We are his best bet to win now- but I'll still believe it when I see it. My Bulls-fan skepticism is still at an all-time high. Damn you David Geffin! (Not because of the Clippers and Lebron talk, but because of the producing crappy music)...

  • In reply to kbar17:

    interesting tid bit,courtesy of:John Krolik (nbcsports)

    "However, the Cavs doth protest a little bit too much here. Even if LeBron isn't directly involved in the coaching search, it would be foolish to deny that the reason the Cavs are looking for a new coach in the first place is that they want LeBron to stay a Cavalier next season. It's not every day that a team fires a coach who has never missed the playoffs, lost a first-round series, and had a 66.3% regular-season regular season winning percentage, but that's exactly what happened to Mike Brown when public sentiment began to turn against him.

    In Chicago, Vinny Del Negro may have been a goner anyways, but part of the reason he was fired is almost certainly that the Bulls didn't want to have to try and convince free agents to play for Vinny Del Negro. Even if LeBron technically has had nothing to do with Cleveland or Chicago's, coaching searches, his impending free agency has a lot to do with why those teams want new coaches in the first place."

  • In reply to kbar17:

    Once the bulls trade Hinrich on draft day and draft a shooting guard, they should be able to offer Lebron his contract and get a second star over, to play with him, I think, it all depends on management to lure Lebron, prove to him that no other team can offer him the world wide recognition, the fame, money and the chance at multiple championships.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    BACK-UP (NO LBJ in Chicago) PLAN NEEDED?

    http://www.chicagobreakingsports.com/2010/06/report-lebron-to-give-cavs-three-more-years.html

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    That article has absolutely no credibility.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Well, definitely, if I'm New York and I can sign Lebron and Bosh (or Amar

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Here's why I can't get my hopes up... Unless there's something else going on with Cleveland that we don't know about, it's likely to come down to how far over the cap they willing to go. LA's payroll is a whopping $91 mill and Boston's payroll is a little higher than the Cavs'. Cleveland was already well over the cap this season, so who's to say they won't go even higher? If they're willing to go into or near the $90 mill range to keep LeBron, add Bosh, and one more near-max player, the Cavs can put together a young but veteran squad that could win multiple titles with the right coach.

  • In reply to magestew:

    PLEASE LEARN ABOUT THE NBA SALARY CAP BEFORE POSTING!!!

    They call it a CAP for a reason - the Cavs CANNOT just "sign Bosh" and "sign another near-max player" because they are already over the cap! They can only re-sign LeBron because the rules allow you to go over the cap to RESIGN you OWN players. The only way they can add anyone of significance (i.e. other than the $5 million MLE) is a SIGN-and-TRADE.

    And WHO the heck do the Cavs have they Toronto (Bosh) or Pheonix (Amare) or Atlanta (J Johnson) etc want??? Mo Williams? Jamison? Please these guys are scrubs who make WAY too much money. No one wants them. Meanwhile, those teams could land Bynum from LA for Bosh, or Deng or maybe Noah from the Bulls, etc.

    And finally, even if Bosh, Amare, etc. really wanted to go to the Cavs, they would have no leverage with their team, because they cannot sign there outright. The team will just say "look, if we can't get decent value in a sign-and-trade for you, then just walk". These players can only "force" S&Ts to team that have enough cap space to sign them outright.

    Basically, this is NOT baseball. You cannot be the Yankees and just "decide" to spend a lot. You can only go over the cap via trades and re-signing your OWN players.

  • In reply to kbar17:

    The fact that Chicago is not going to wait for Lebron to make a decision may cause problems. Yow know that Lebron will listen to at least a hand full of teams before committing to anyone. That may take at least 2 weeks. Also the Peter Vecsey story seems false. First, why would Lebron want to opt out in three years when the new collective bargaining agreement will be in play? The new CBA may produce less money on guaranteed contracts. All these stars want committed money to them ASAP. Also, seeing that Lebron wasn't Mike Brown's biggest fan, why would he not want to be involved in the next hiring if he is staying? This years draft day is going to be real interesting because Im sure a lot of teams are going to make moves to either improve their roster, or free up cap space with free agents in mind. I can see the Bulls trying to move Hinrich for more cap relief on June 24th.

  • Biggest not that I'm doug, but I'm pretty sure he could be considering Ray Allen was traded on draft night, for Jeff Green. Anyways I'm still stuck in the middle with all this Lebron news, The last two games of the cavs season, regardless if Lebrons arm hurt, he just seemed to give up, there was obviously something more to it, issues with his teammates? All year long and even the end of the bulls season, I figured Lebron would stay in cleveland, now that I've been reading and making my own interpretation on whats going on, I dont think he's staying and logically in my mind if all he wants to do is win than Miami or Chicago have to be the top spots. I dont see New York getting Lebron Wade or Bosh perhaps Johnson or stodemaire but not both.

  • In reply to Snypershawn:

    Nobody has cap space until July 1st.

  • I'm too scared to read this article :)

  • rec. sorry wrong blog.

  • In reply to souleater7:

    LOL. i created an account just to respond to this, soul. BaBers invade.!!!!

  • In reply to souleater7:

    Techenhance, I dont think Cleveland can do that, they have salary caps for those reason, the reason Boston and La have such high payroll is because they are allowed to resign their current players.

    Hey Doug, Do you think Hinrich will be on this team come next year. I was pretty confident he would be gone, but now that the Bulls got Thibodeau, who's main focus is defense, and thats Hinrich's strong point. Do you think Deng is more expendable?

  • JULY 1st will be doomsday! we shall see!

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