Cracks have begun to show inside the Miami Heat organization, and while I've felt (and still feel) the most likely scenario is for them to all get back together due to lack of other quality choices, there's definitely a chance that they won't.
The brief overview is this:
LeBron wants max money and assurance the team will be good.
Chris Bosh will take a discount, but he likely wants LeBron to commit for as long as he does while taking the discount. An ETO and reup in three years doesn't help Bosh the way it helps LeBron because there's a big risk he won't be worth the max in three years. Thus, his willingness to take a discount is shaky.
Who the hell knows what Wade's value is now. He doesn't look like a guy who'd hold up for five years, but it's not hard for me to see a team like Phoenix giving him a max four year deal given they need a star, can't swing anyone else, and have the miracle medical staff that can keep anyone together.
So with Bosh likely only circumstantially willing to take a discount, the Heat unable to bring in players to improve the cast and make the team good enough for LeBron to commit (As well as the question for how long he commits for), the Heat are now in a state of uncertainty.
Meanwhile, LA has moved into the drivers seat for Carmelo (reportedly) or it's simply a smokescreen to get the Knicks to buy into a S&T with Chicago, or in reality, no one knows anything about what's going on with Melo except Melo who's just spreading random rumors about liking everywhere. Quite simply put, everything is still on hold.
What's the most likely outcome of all of this? My opinion is that everyone stays where they are. After two weeks of talk, the big three will stay in Miami and Melo will stay in NY, but we'll see. If things do break in another way, then it becomes mighty interesting.
Cleveland seems to feel it has a legit chance to get LeBron and is clearing contracts to create maximum cap space. I don't know LeBron, but this strikes me as completely ridiculous. I wouldn't even consider Cleveland if I'm LeBron. Their core is a group of guys who's not ready to win now and didn't make the playoffs last year.
In fact, if everyone moves, I think it should be a fight to see who can take Houston's money first. The Rockets, meanwhile, seem content to grab Chris Bosh if the Miami Heat trio fall apart, and if I'm the Bulls I'm quite happy with that scenario.
Compare Chris Bosh to Carlos Boozer the year the Bulls signed Boozer. Same age, worse stats, doesn't do anything on the interior anymore despite a team needing someone there. Awesome guy, but he's a bad contract waiting to happen IMO. If Bosh goes to Houston, Chicago becomes the best destination left IMO.
That said, Chicago is limited by the fact it doesn't immediately have max money, but a Taj Gibson trade could solve that, as could a S&T. Would Riley sign and trade LeBron to Chicago if LeBron sat down with him and said "Look I got you two rings, I'm not staying here regardless, help me out, and you'll at least get something back?". You never know.
However, there's never been even a whiff of LeBron to Chicago, so it's hard to see that situation panning out even if somehow all the obstacles in the way were cleared. If somehow it did, I can't even begin to imagine what a terror the Bulls defense would be with Rose, Butler, LeBron, Taj, and Noah playing.
If they won't full force for a game, I think they could hold teams to under 70 with regularity, particularly since the team would likely set up in the half court frequently as well. Enough daydreaming though, LeBron's not coming.
So the question then becomes would you want Dwyane Wade? He's got bad knees, probably doesn't have so many quality years left, and he duplicates Rose in many ways. However, he plays the position the Bulls really need to fill, would likely come here if Miami's trio fell apart, and solves plenty of our problems if healthy.
It'd be interesting to see how Thibodeau handled a guy with chronic knee problems. Either Wade would be ground into dust, or Tom would have to re-evaluate the way he manages a lot of things. I think he latter is far more likely than the former. People rip on him for his stubbornness, but he's not an idiot, he's a brilliant coach and would likely change given a player like Wade.
Miami may also simply re-up on its start with a better deal than Chicago offers due to whatever backroom deal they likely had when Wade opted out. We'll see.
In the end, the Heat breaking up most likely would help the Bulls by simply shifting more talent out West and weakening the East. The only way to really win in the fall of the Heat empire is to get James, and even if it makes a lot of sense, it just doesn't feel particularly likely for the Bulls.
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