NBA Free Agency- Lebron James, Chris Bosh and the Chicago Bulls; Looking to Join New Era of Chicago Sports

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With the official start of free agency just two days away, Bulls fans are increasingly licking their chops at the notion of NBA superstar Lebron James being added to the team. While there is obviously no certainty of anything joyous happening, buzz around the league seems to be pointing to Chicago as Lebron's landing point.

Only adding to the anticipation are recent rumors that pairs up Chris Bosh with Lebron, and both of them playing in Bull red next year. There may be some credit to this rumor considering last week's trade of Kirk Hinrich, which put the Bulls in a position to add not one, but two max contracts.

This entire situation reminds me of similarly daunting tasks that much of Chicagoland failed to believe its other teams could succeed in. Landing Lebron alone would be enough to send Chicago into a frantic party, but adding Bosh along with him is almost inconceivable. In hopes of keeping optimism on this high, I'd like to refresh everyone's recent memory by pointing out some "impossible" things that have happened in the last few years. Unfortunately, this means I must begin by giving a small amount of credit to the Cubs.

 

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In a sense, the signing of Alfonso Soriano is what started this entire string of luring top-of-the-line players from various sports to Chicago. Although Cub fans are quietly hiding in dark corners throughout the city, muttering to themselves and damning GM Jim Hendry for the heaping pile of crap contracts that is currently strangling the team to death, when the Cubs announced that they had signed Alfonso Soriano, the entire city was shocked that the Cubs would make such a move.

Yes, there was a lot of immediate question about the lengthy and overloaded contract, but most analysts and fans wrote it off as the only way to bring in the top free agent during that offseason. The Cubs don't do that... yet it happened anyways. Hindsight has proven that day to actually not be one to celebrate so decisively, but let's not forget that the Cubs did make the playoffs two years in a row, and Soriano was a major contributor to both of those regular season efforts. In any case, Soriano was the beginning because that move began to allow our Chicago sports minds to begin to accept the possibility that highly sought-after players may actually end up playing in our town.

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The Bulls eventually got lucky in the lottery, earning the number one pick, and signed hometown kid Derek Rose. With this the Bulls were able to begin revamping the team with a new soon-to-be superstar leading their way. Other teams had to work a little harder to begin the necessary overhauls.

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There was some time before the next rung in the ladder was filled in, but then the Bears did what everyone always knew they wouldn't and couldn't do by gathering their assets (and balls) and pulling the trigger on the trade that brought Jay Cutler to Chicago. The team is well aware of the dangerous amount of meathead asshat Bears fans that secretly congregate together in murky tunnels beneath the city. Despite the clamoring that these fans would surely make at the departure of the "bearded wonder"  Kyle Orton and what surely would have been wasted Jerry Angelo draft picks, the team made the deal and brought in a premiere player at the most important position on the field for their sport.

As hard as it was to believe that the Cubs signed arguably the best free agent available during an offseason, it was even harder to swallow the fact that the Bears, a team absolutely infamous for its avoidance of talented and athletic quarterbacks and- for that matter, rightly or wrongly- spending money, actually completed a blockbuster deal in hopes of making the team's future brighter. Smiles were abound on happy (knowledgeable) Bears fans' faces all week as the impossible had been done. 

 

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Not long after Cutler had been presented to Bears fans as their own, Blackhawk fans eager to see their team take a step forward for the next year, after being ousted from the playoffs by the evil Red Wings. For a short time, panic seemed to eek into many Hawk minds when considering the soon-to-be departure of Martin Havlat, who had finally had the season fans had been waiting for since his arrival (77 points in 81 games). How did Hawk management remedy this situation? Easy: lose a Havlat, gain a Hossa! Snagging the Slovakian mastermind from the Red Wings was a top-of-the-line move by the Hawks, and as we know now for sure, went a long way in bringing back the Stanley Cup to Chicago. Now the Cubs, Bears, and Hawks had all proved they were at least dedicated to trying their best to improve their respective teams. There was more to come..

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Sox fans got to join the party when GM Kenny Williams broke his mold by trading for the large contract and high ceiling of San Diego's former Cy Young Award-winner Jake Peavy. Although Peavy has looked both brilliant and awful at times this year, the move was one that proved the Sox were serious about contending last year and this year as well. 

Then, just a few months ago, you have the Bears stepping up again and blowing everyone's minds by signing Julius Peppers, Chester Taylor, and Brandon Manumaleuna in the same day. Peppers was undoubtedly the most sought-after free agent in the NFL during this offseason, while Taylor arguably the premiere running back available as well, and the so-called "cheap" Bears signed them both on the first damn day of free agency. This move may not pan out as well as Bears fans hope- look at Soriano and some of Peavy and Cutler's struggles- but once again a Chicago team was stepping up, where and when people predicted they would not, to make productive moves in attempts to better their team.

And here we are. The Sox are surging and the Cubs are drowning, the Bears were blah, and the Bulls made the playoffs with another .500 record. NONE OF THIS MATTERS. Our teams are attempting to supply their rosters with deep, consistent talent. Thankfully, it has already worked for the Hawks. The Cubs likely missed their opportunity to convert the Soriano signing into any sort of title, and time will tell with Peavy for the Sox and the array of recently added Bears, but each team is trying and has succeeded in bringing in new and exciting talent...

...Each team except the Bulls that is. They backed into adding Derek Rose on the team, and recent Bulls GM history is essentially bare of anything to celebrate aside from this (except of course for Joakim as well). What is exciting so far is that the Bulls have done everything to this point to make Bulls fans' dreams come true. As of today, the Bulls have cleared enough space from the salary cap to attack the free agent market with the same kind of ferocity as displayed by its surrounding hometown teams. Though reports and rumors are always rampant, and paying too much attention to them will surely drive a fan mad, let me remind you that there were similarly strong rumors surrounding all of the moves thus discussed (except for the somewhat immediate signing of Hossa).

Sports media throughout the city was discussing and dissecting all of these trades, with fairly accurate reports coming through on all of the deals before they went down. The Bears surely still seem to be the most surprising because management there always claims that they will be trying their best for the best players, but they had rarely succeeded in the past. However, Bears fans surely have to feel differently about that now considering the last year and a half of activity. Perhaps this will be the defining moment for the Bulls.

As everyone knows, landing Lebron would be reason to celebrate enough- but both him and Bosh?! All I know is no one expected the Bears to sign both Peppers and Taylor, though reports seemed to favor one of the two coming to Chicago. Likewise everyone was shocked to watch the Hawks spend more money in last year's offseason when salary cuts seemed imminent (as we know they now are). Keep the faith Bulls fans; we in Chicago now have reason to believe the impossible is possible. The Bulls have watched the other hometown teams create that spirit; now its time for them to join the party... and in a way, I actually expect them to.

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  • Well finally the days ar here and July 7 is important because it determines the salary cap for next season and July 8 is when these predications can stop and all thats lelf and that is signing a contract

  • Yeah, yeah, yeah...... can we just stay focused on the Cubs? (Now that Tasmania is out of the World Cup)

  • In reply to Jimbabwe:

    ...well, so much for that. Guess we can all just agree now that Lebron sucks, whether you understand his choice or not.

    Here's to BOOZER!

  • In reply to Jimbabwe:

    I was also a strong supporter or Tasmania o well, there is always next cup.

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