So Kirk Hinrich is off to Washington, replaced on the Bulls’ roster by cap space. The obvious question is what happens next?
Well, the Bulls feel as though they have an excellent chance of signing LeBron James as a free agent; Atlanta shooting guard Joe Johnson is dead set on joining the Bulls and Toronto’s Chris Bosh remains a mystery.
Both James and Johnson have sent positive vibes in the Bulls’ direction through various connections, but Bosh seems to be keeping an open mind. Joining Dwyane Wade in Miami is a nice option, but Bosh might have to win a race with Phoenix forward Amare Stoudemire to secure that spot.
Toronto has also pledged to work with Bosh in a sign-and-trade, which opens possibilities with teams that don’t have cap room, such as the Lakers, Dallas and Houston.
Bosh also has plenty of leverage, because so many teams have cap room. If he wants to join the party in Chicago, he could tell the Raptors, “Trade me to the Bulls or I’ll sign with New York/Miami/Clippers and you’ll get nothing.”
At that point, would Toronto tell Bosh goodbye or accept Luol Deng and Taj Gibson from the Bulls in a sign-and-trade? The Bulls don’t know the answer to that one yet.
YAHOO SUGGESTS LEBRON AND BOSH TO BULLS
Yahoo.com’s Adrian Wojnarowski wrote about the NBA’s cap space race and claims LeBron superfriend William “World Wide Wes” Wesley is telling people LeBron and Bosh are both headed to the Bulls.
Even after moving Hinrich, the Bulls probably won’t have enough money to hand out two max contracts. Joe Johnson is willing to take less to join LeBron on the Bulls, but would Bosh?
Summer of LeBron overshadows draft
RILEY DOWNPLAYS TRIPLE MAX IDEA
Another storyline during the draft was Miami shuffling the No. 18 pick and Daequan Cook to the Thunder for more cap space, along with rumors Michael Beasley could be banished to Minnesota.
Those moves could conceivably give Miami enough money to keep Dwyane Wade and sign two max free agents, but Heat president Pat Riley tried to squelch those rumors.
“We are not that desperate for room, to trade the second pick in the draft (Beasley),” Riley said, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I want to build a team and it takes five guys to build a team.”
The triple-max challenge would be a risk for Miami, because that plan only works if they can beat the Bulls to LeBron or Joe Johnson, unless the Heats wants to try Bosh and Stoudemire together. Overpaying for Memphis forward Rudy Gay is an option, but the Grizzlies can match any offer.
Riley: Triple-max a long shot