Most Chicago Bulls fans might cringe at the idea about seeing LeBron James play for the Windy City. That would be like Michael Jordan suiting up for the New York Knicks or having to see Magic Johnson play for the Boston Celtics in his prime. James is hated that much in Chicago. But for the Bulls, if James does opt-out of his contract with the Miami Heat, he is worth reaching out to this summer.
The Bulls haven’t won a championship in 16 years, ever since Jordan last laced it up for the team in 1998. With the current roster, the Bulls are on pace to have yet another disappointing season if they cannot land the likes of Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Love. Basically, the Bulls might as well give themselves a third option this summer in James.
James is easily one of the best players the NBA currently has, and he could arguably be considered a top ten player to ever play the game of basketball. Also, the Bulls have only been to the Eastern Conference Finals once since 1998 when the Bulls were beaten in five games by James and the Heat in 2011. James, on the other hand, has been to the finals five times in his career that started in 2003 — once with the Cleveland Cavaliers and four times with the Heat. Essentially, he could be placed on almost any Eastern Conference team and make them instant title contenders.
By the looks of the situation, the only way that James returns to the Heat this summer is if there is any wiggle room to improve the roster. However, the only way the Heat would be able to sign other free agent role players is if James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh all opt back into their contracts and accept even less money. But with Wade on the downside of his career, he could be very reluctant to take another pay cut since this will be his last big contract in the NBA. This is where the Bulls could come in.
With the Bulls already likely to amnesty around $16 million of Carlos Boozer‘s contract, the team will have close to enough to sign James to the maximum of four years, $96 million. The Bulls already have a better core group of players that could entice James to Chicago which include Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Even with Rose coming off of two consecutive knee injuries, he is probably poised to have a much better season than the broken down Wade. And Noah is also the league’s Defensive Player of the Year, not to mention an All NBA First-Team Selection in 2014. Bosh didn’t even come close to Noah’s accolades last season.
Although having James play for the Bulls wouldn’t be ideal for most fans, it is the right thing for the team to try and make happen. The Bulls can’t just rely on Anthony or Love to fall in their lap; they need to be aggressive. Pursuing James would be as aggressive as the Bulls could get this summer.