Bulls hoping to visit James last with commitment in hand

Per Mike McGraw:

After months of speculation and anticipation, the NBA's
free-agent negotiating period finally begins Wednesday at 11:01 p.m.
Central time. James plans to host meetings with the Knicks, Nets,
Clippers, Heat, Cavs and Bulls in the next few days, although no exact
timetable has been announced.

The Bulls are hoping to be the last team to make a
presentation to James. In the meantime, they are interested in visiting
with Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer, with the goal of getting
a commitment before the meeting with James. If James decides to go
elsewhere, the Bulls will try to pair Johnson with one of the power
forwards.

A few interesting notes from this McGraw article.

First, I'd previously reported that I'd heard the Bulls order of importance was James, Bosh, Johnson, then Boozer.  McGraw seems to back that up by saying we hope to lure one of the three to sign with us prior to going into the meeting with James.  It also matches what KC Johnson speculation that the  Bulls weren't into Amare on my podcast.

Second, I find it interesting that the Bulls hope to lock up one of those guys, because I think it's highly likely that the Bulls can't lock up Bosh until LeBron decides what he's going to do.  Do you really want to lock up Boozer or Johnson before talking to LeBron if Bosh says he'll come if LeBron comes?

It's a dangerous situation either way, because if you miss on both the other guys might be gone to teams who aren't willing to wait on LeBron.   At the same time, it's crazy to take a conservative bird in the hand when a dynasty is sitting out there waiting for you.  This type of opportunity probably rears it's head around once every 20-30 years, so going all in for the dynasty type outcome has to be the first priority.

Jerry Reindsorf's inclusion in the meeting with LeBron indicates to me that the Bulls think this ends quickly rather than gets drawn out for weeks.  I'm uncertain how to feel about Jerry being there as he's been known to have tremendously negative meetings with players in the past during negotiations single handedly destroying the Mike D'Antoni negotiations.

That said, those negotiations may have been destroyed due to his doubts over D'Antoni whereas he'll have no doubts about LeBron.

All we can do is sit back and wait.   We're 24 hours from the kick off of free agency, but we might be 72 hours or more away from finding out answers.

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  • Is Dirk or Pierce in the conversation now?

  • In reply to UnstopaBull:

    Nope.

    Dirk will stay with Dallas and Pierce with Boston.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Well, that is that then.

  • I also heard on ESPN that the Bulls have their first appointment with Boozer. I kind of like that in a way if it's not a max deal for Boozer. If they are paying like 5/70 or 4/60 something like that....I think it's ok. Nobody on the Bulls has a "back to the basket" game..
    And LeBron doesn't have it and I don't know how good Bosh is in that. We have been hearing that the Bulls need that for a long time now. Plus, they might have some idea that Bosh is going to Miami or Houston !
    I think it will work great with LeBron and Boozer(4 year deals) if the Bulls can pull it off...Once LeBron wins in a place, I doubt he will move again in 4 years..

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Boozer is certainly a more physical player than Bosh, although he is not as long. Something about Bosh just bugs me, I think that he is softer than Pau Gasol was coming out of Memphis.

  • In reply to BigWay:

    I kind of understand how you feel Bigway, but Boozer is older, has been injured more and doesn't really have the numbers Bosh has, and numbers don't lie. I don't think Bosh is "soft", like we called Gasol soft, but I don't think he's able to carry a team like a LeBron or Wade. Based on his age, 25, consistent stats 24/11 and his length an defense, I'd rather have Bosh than Boozer.

  • I think this is probably the smartest route to take in trying to get a FA before getting Lebron. The reason beig that we still dont know if Lebron is leaving cleveland and the object is to come out of Free Agency with a better team.

    With this in mind, if we have a commit before Lebron then that would be ideal. I will wait for Lebron but I dont think Bosh is attached to his hip as many suspect. I think Bron could live wihout Bosh. And I feel pretty confident that Bosh is gone to Miami regardless.

    To me, I think if we had one freee agent locked up already, and if Lebron went to NY or Miami, then we could just grab one more and still come out great. We need to become better, and there is too much to risk in waiting for Lebron all week.

  • The only risk is if we get a FA which LeBron doesn't like or want to play with...then we lose LeBron. But Boozer has the "back to the basket" game which no other big FA does so well. And he is a few months older than Wade but with a less injury-prone game than him.
    So, I do like Boozer's game. The only advantages Bosh has is he is younger and a slightly better defense and jumper. Offcourse, we should go for Bosh if he is available...

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Carlos Boozer has a "less injury-prone game"? Are we talking about the same Carlos Boozer? The one that missed nearly 30% (138 games!) of his regular seasons in Utah due to mysterious injuries that take weeks, sometimes months to heal? Obviously, you're talking about Wade's penchant for slashing to the basket, taking a beating and winding up on the floor but Carlos is no Rock of Gibraltar either.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    I don't mean Boozer is some kind of steady performer. You are right that I am comparing his game to Wade's game and not personalities. We have to assume these kind of guys will show up for the playoffs atleast and a majority of the regular season games. If we think about what might happen 2 years from now, I might put my money on Boozer being healthier than Wade. That's all I meant. But that said, maybe Wade doesn't have to be so aggressive if he has some good players by his side and might start having a less injury-prone game.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    Boozer is still undersized for his position, and doesn't exactly shy away from contact. He might not take the kind of punishment Wade does from a single hit on a drive, but over the course of a game banging away, he's taking his share.

  • In reply to schaumburgfan:

    It's time to close! What's interesting is that management is going to have Scottie Pippen in on the trip! This to me is a way to knock Miami out of the race. Now I know Scottie had a major beef with Krause and management back in the day, but he has been brought back into the organization in several different capacities and even had his number retired. This is combat Wade's comment's about how bad Bulls management treats it's players. But I also believe Scottie can give insight into what it was like to play with Mike and win six titles and how the city , the nation and rest of the world treated them like rock stars. Now the only concern I have was Scottie's comment about how LeBron might not be the best fit for the Bulls. But as good as Scottie was he also can speak about how he reduced his game for the greater good of the team in order to be able to win championships. When a Hall of Fame player speaks about these things, it's gonna carry a lot of weight...

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    where did you hear about scottie joining the pitch?

  • In reply to Dileg:

    KC Johnson said in his piece today,"League sources said the Bulls' traveling party to Ohio is expected to include team Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, senior vice president John Paxson, general manager Gar Forman and possibly Thibodeau. A rumor that former great Scottie Pippen would attend couldn't be corroborated, though there has been contact between the organization and its six-time NBA champion."

  • In reply to Dileg:

    According to sources i read yesterday (realgm)...this summit didnt even happen this past weekend and also Bosh has said "He doesnt see a situation where they all end up in Miami"

    Bulls stick with your plan and get it done. Bring Pip along with you. Get me LeBron James, and i could care less who you bring with him...LeBron James and even Boozer is still a championship contender

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    Wow really...i didnt know Pip was going to be there...but kudos to the Bulls. Great Idea. Howd you find that out? Ya i read that article where Pip said he wouldnt be the best fit, but that also was when LeBron was a pipedream away. Its reality now...Bulls need to do their best in landing LBJ. And Pip is deff. a good person to have on board. Hire him too by the way Reinsdorf lol

    I read a article last year in the sun times...it was a interview with Reinsdorf....and i wont forget this because he is deff. going to need to follow up with what he said...Reinsdorf said "He will Pay for a Winner." An im trusting that he will.

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    I read Pip just won some lawsuit of 2 million dollars....he might be in a good mood to talk about his good times with the Bulls. I believe outside of MJ, Pippen can have the most extra impact other than whatever other things the Bulls have done(capspace, history, good core, Chicago city etc..). If the Bulls cannot make LeBron come to the Bulls even with Scottie on a recruiting pitch,,,then he is definitely staying in Cleveland or going to Miami. But this might seal the deal.
    The only worry is how much influence LeBron's business manager has on him. His group wants him in Cleveland as their only way to be relevant is if they are in Cleveland and will become nobodies if LeBron goes elsewhere..

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    EXTRA EXTRA EXTRA: MIAMI HEAT KICKING OUR ASS.

    (Sorry for the headline, but it is what it is).

    I don't know how much you guys watch the free agency coverage NBATV, ESPN etc., but right now Riley the manipulator has all the coverage focused on the HEAT. Between his ongoing team self-cannibalization, it's now down to Wade and the HEAT equipment manager aka (Mrs.) Beasley, and Wade's clubhouse pact with Bosh and LeBron, that's all I'm hearing about. It's just Miami waived this guy and then Miami bought out James Jones blah, blah, blah.

    Last night I turned on NBATV and there at that moment was "journalist" aka Miami front man Ira Winderman selling this three amigos(Bosh, Wade, LeBron) scenario. He even listed how there are 150 capable guys available in part due to the clearing out for cap space(mentioning Ilgauskus and Keyon Dooling).

    Then I turn on Colin Cowherd on ESPNU, and he's got this other Miami shill/reporter on their totally hyping the same thing. Every outlett NBATV, ESPN etc. is eating this thing up stoked by Riley's ongoing chop, chop, chop. Ira Winderman without any scrutiny or comment of the bizarreness/cutthroat/desperation of this even suggested Miami would now be dumping former No.2 pick Bealsey even offering Miami's future No. 1's in the process to do so.

    How conformist/buttkissing do things get when you've got the master turn out artist in Riley?? Pretty damn much the entire Miami media right now is a selling/commercial machine/PR department for the Miami Heat. I hate spelling Heat in all caps, but I was trying to be accurate on how their logo appears, but screw that. Look, now he's even got me doing it.

    I'm sure some people will think none of this onslaught of promotional "press" coverage doesn't make LeBron or Bosh pick Miami, but any sell job/marketing person would tell you it does matter, and this lack of volley from any competitor is not good. Chicago, IMO, needs to find a way, Derrick as mouthpiece or even Reinsdorf in some "setup intervioew", not Gar or Pax they just look way too weird/media unappealing and not Scottie that will look to irrelevant and desperate, but somebody to engage the media, with some slogan or telling angle that is interesting enough to carry some media interest/ongoing coverage/exposure.

    We can't ignore that this is somewhat of a sales job. And right now Riley(and Wade) are kicking are ass in this department.

    As for signing Bosh first(S&T etc) I don't know if he absolutely wants the extra money of a sign and trade or if he'd forgoe it to pick his own team/talent. If he comes here directly then we don't have to give them Taj which for me is huge. But I haven't heard Bosh say anything exciting or anything at all about the Bulls recently While he's said glowing things about Wade going down as one fo the all time greats etc. about Miami.

    The Bulls better get their shit together, and find some spokesperson and angle to sell, and get back some of this momentum. Right now Riley and Wade are kicking are ass. And yes in the end maybe this stuff wont sway Wade or Bosh, but you don't take those f-ing chances on something like this. There's got to be some kind of response/PR attention/re-gaining some momentum back to Chicago IMO.

  • In reply to AlgernonHPenn:

    I haven't heard about Scottie being in on the trip, and I don't know why, or think he needs to be. Scottie didn't reduce his game for the good of the team. Scottie would not have had the game he had w/o Mike tutoring him. If anything, it was when Scottie elevated his game that they began to win.

    I don't think LeBron, Bosh or Rose's numbers have to suffer in order for them to play effectively with each other. I believe their number will remain the same and the team's shooting percentage and points per game will increase. This, combined with the defense Thibbs will implement simply means a greater point differential over our victims- I mean, opponents.

    My point is simply that Rose, James and Bosh can co-exist w/o a reduction in the numbers they've grown accustomed to putting up.

  • In reply to jamatokwu:

    Who's making the schedule? It doesn't really matter whether the Bulls want to talk to him first or last if James' camp has their own preferred order. If James tells the Bulls he wants to talk to them at 12:01 tonight, I doubt they'll ask him to wait until they can lock up one of those other guys. If James want to talk to the Bulls last, they can't exactly sit on their hands and wait. They have to make moves that will be good for the team. Of course, if they already have some inkling of the player LeBron would like most to team with, then of course, they'll make that guy the priority while they wait for the James meeting. Anything they can do to make the team better should make them more attractive to James.

  • It's a NO-BRAINER.

    Chris Bosh will lead to either DWADE, LBJ or possibly even MELO.

    I have been saying that for over a year now.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Finally cogent post.

    When it comes to Mr Happy NO-BRAINER is the operative word.

  • SIZE WINS:

    The Lakers, Celtics and Spurs have all won with SIZE.

    Chris Bosh is the choice over Joe Johnson...no doubt about it.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    I'm not sure anyone disagrees with you there, but I also don't think that's the choice. Of course, the Bulls will acquire Bosh . . . if they can. If not they have to look to other options.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Everybody knows that and it is obvious. But the reality may be Bosh wants to go to Miami or somewhere else. The Bulls need a good PF and cannot say Bosh or nothing...

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Actually Joe Johnson has more size at his position than Bosh does at his.

  • In reply to MrHappy:

    Chad Ford recently posted something on his Twitter about the Bulls leading for LeBron if they can get Dirk to come in...is there a decent chance of that happening? Seems kind of random...I assumed he was going to be going to stay in Dallas.

  • In reply to derza222:

    We don't need Dirk, a 7-footer who shoots from the outside and isn't a defensive presence on the inside. This is eastern conference basketball, not the west. We need our 7-footers to be physical players, not finesse players. Thanks, but no thanks Dirk.

  • In reply to ChicaliK:

    This Eastern/Western conference physical vs. finesse is a fallacy. The West have more physical bigs (Lakers, Duncan, Portland) than the East which is becoming more and more guard oriented. And why don't the Bulls need a big that can score outside and inside?

  • In reply to boogernights:

    What "physical bigs" in west are you talking about?
    Gasol is not physical. Duncan certainly is not physical, Oden nor Aldridge for Portland are physical? One may consider Bynum somewhat physical but that's about it as far as bigs. Shoot, Dirk is a big in the west, I guess you consider him a physical big too huh? Come on man.
    You just helped make my point.

    Perkins is more physical than all those you just mentioned. And you definitely can't compare any of your so-called physical bigs from the west to Howard from Orlando.

    And the physical vs. finesse is not "fallacy", that reality man. Where have you been? And the bigs you mentioned as being physical proves that you don't know the difference between physical and finesse.

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