The Chicago Bulls are thinking big. They want one of the top free agents or unsettled players to sign with them, and they want it now. Carmelo Anthony, who will or won’t opt out of his deal with the New York Knicks, is obviously their number one choice, but the Bulls will try to initiate a trade for Kevin Love while hoping with the corner of their eye that LeBron James somehow becomes available.
In 2010, the Bulls were one of the teams hoping that LeBron James’ decision would mean them. There were even hopes of bringing Dwyane Wade, a Chicago native, along with him. As a consolation prize they spent a max contract or something around that number on Carlos Boozer. Four seasons later, the Bulls won’t make that mistake again, and pretty much everyone is tradeable except for Derrick Rose.
Behind closed doors, the Bulls are probably talking about willing to trade Rose as well. However, his contract and injury problems mean it’s impossible to move him, and there’s still hope that after missing two full seasons more or less he can still be a valuable player on this team, let alone leader and superstar. However, this isn’t going to be his team anymore – not if the Bulls get their way in this offseason.
Anthony, despite what some might consider a bad fit for the Bulls’ system, is their prime target. He seems more than likely to opt out of his deal with the New York Knicks, and the Bulls, who’ll have some cap space to use if they do amnesty Carlos Boozer this summer, will try and sign him, although it’ll will have to be for a reduced price, while they’re going to have to trade someone – most likely Taj Gibson but even Joakim Noah who makes $12 million a season isn’t completely immune to being moved.
Kevin Love is coming only via trade. It’s going to take at least Taj Gibson, a draft pick and another player to get Love over to Chicago. While in previous seasons moving Gibson was deemed untouchable, things have changed. It seems like John Paxson and Gus Forman (maybe they got an order from above) are swinging for the fences and going all in this offseason, or at least trying to.
And how about the long forgotten dream of LeBron James? There’s a lot of secrecy in what’s going on right now in Miami. Two days after losing in the NBA finals, suddenly the future of the franchise doesn’t seem that bright. The Bulls, along a few other teams, are hoping James does opt out of his deal. Once again, the Bulls need James to take a big pay cut or get rid of some of their assets via trades to free up some cap space.
Some think that one of the mistakes the Bulls made after the 2010-2011 season was breaking up their bench unit which was arguably the best in the NBA. This season and especially in the playoffs, they suffered for their lack of depth and options coming off the pinewood. This summer is going to be about further breaking up that unit in hope of attracting a superstar, and worrying about the little pieces only after that mission is accomplished.