Carlos Boozer to the Bulls, Who Hope James Is Next
And after landing free agent forward Carlos Boozer late Wednesday afternoon, they might not be after all.
A source close to the process confirmed that Boozer and the Bulls have agreed on a five-year deal. Yet the source said it's for lower than the reported $80 million and even lower than the $77 million reported by the Chicago Sun-Times. Boozer's agreement with the Bulls was first reported by ESPN.
Nonetheless, the fact remains that the Bulls still have room for a maximum contract to give to James no matter the exact figure of Boozer's deal. The addition of the 28-year-old who averaged 20.5 points and 11.2 rebounds last season for Utah only adds to the building intrigue just one day before James is scheduled to announce his decision on national television Thursday night.
If James is simply looking for the best chance to win a championship, it's hard to argue against Chicago. Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah provide quite the point guard-center combination, with no shortage of pieces in between that could lighten James' load and make for quite the formidable squad in the Eastern Conference.
Of course nearly every James suitor now has a legitimate pitch: New York with newly-added forward Amar'e Stoudemire, Miami with the recently-returned Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, Cleveland with a roster mostly intact after leading the league in wins, and the Nets with the likes of Devin Harris and Brook Lopez as a talented young core.