LeBron, Bosh, Chicago: How This Picture Could Become Reality
Isn't Photoshop great? I don't know how we lived without it.
A week ago in R-B, I put the Bulls chances of getting LeBron this offseason at a cool zero percent. Stompy went with two percent. So, you know, it's somewhere between impossible and very unlikely. That is to say, we aren't very optimistic LeBron will end up in Chicago next year. If this offseason ended with the Bulls solely getting Chris Bosh, I think any fan would have to be elated....
And then you see the picture above, and you get your hopes up.
Look at it. It's.....beautiful. It's perfect. I could stare at it all day.
As if there was any question, this comes from Skeets' super Twitter account, which, if you don't check at least thrice daily, there is something wrong with you. He got it from MOUTHPIECE'S Ryan Corazza, so thank him for getting a hold of this majestic beast by visiting his site a few times today. It's pretty good, you have my word.
Now: let's stop daydreaming and figure out how the Bulls could make this happen. It's nearly impossible, but whatever. Nearly is the operative word. This could happen. Theoretically.
Step One: Trade Kirk Hinrich and John Salmons for expiring contracts by the trade deadline.
Hinrich has a cap number of $9 million next year. Salmons has a player option for $5.8 million.
Would it hurt the Bulls playoff chances this year? For sure. But this is LeBron and Bosh we're talking about here. Hypothetically, it has to be done.
Step Two: Make Tyrus Thomas an unrestricted free agent by not extending a qualifying offer to him after the season.
This is happening 1,000 percent anyway - the Bulls need to do it just to afford one max guy - so there's no need to waste time explaining this. Tyrus, I love you, but peace out, homie. Your dunks will live on YouTube forever.
Step Three: Sign LeBron James to a max contract.
That was easy!
If the Bulls do what we have them doing here, their cap will sit at $22.7 million. Giving a guy a max contract with 7-9 years of experience (like James) means he makes 30% of your total cap. In year one, that would probably mean somewhere around $17.3 million for LeBron.
With LeBron, the Bulls' salaries total $40 million.
Step Four: Sign Chris Bosh to less than a max contract.
Slightly more tricky, since we need to convince Bosh to give up a couple million dollars annually in salary to come play with LeBron, Rose, Noah, and Deng. We'll tell him that if he signed with the Bulls, they'd be a decade long superpower, and that he could easily make up whatever he's losing in salary in endorsements.
Makes sense, right?
The Bulls would give Bosh as much money as they could, depending on where the salary cap line falls. This year, it's at $57.7 million. It could be $54 million next year. It could be lower than that. For the sake of argument, and to make this easier on our grand plans, let's say it's $54 million.
The Bulls could give Bosh whatever money they had left to get to the cap line. That would give the Bulls seven players under contract: the starters (pictured above) plus a bench of JJ and Taj. The Bulls could fill our their roster with players making the minimum salary.
So there. It works.
The Bulls are getting LeBron and Bosh. Believe it.