Free agency has begun and it's beginning to look a lot like every other major free agent year for our Bulls.
Oh, there are differences. In those other years the Bulls were fully capable of offering max contracts. Two, actually, in 2000, I believe, and at least one and a half in 2010. In both years the top free agents (Hill, McGrady, Eddie Jones in 2000, James, Bosh and Wade in 2010) spurned the Bulls' offers. In 2000 they ended up here and there; I think Hill and McGrady both went to Orlando and Jones...well, who remembers? In 2010 they all went to the same team - the Heat.
In 2014, the Bulls can NOT offer a max contract. In fact, after they "amnesty" Carlos Boozer, they'll have about 11 million or so, if I heard correctly (or if what I heard was correct). If Carmelo Anthony signed here without the deal being a sign-and-trade, he would be leaving some 50 million dollars on the table.
So in the end, we're not going to watch Carmelo light it up in a Bulls uni next year.
Option two seems to be bringing the European kid Mirotic over here and signing a tier two free agent. Is that enough to win it? Well, we don't know how good Mirotic will be in the NBA. In fact, we don't know if he'll be ANY good at all. Is he Hedo Turkoglu? Is he Dirk Nowitski? Is he Toni Kukoc? One analyst stated that he would probably have been the #4 pick in this year's NBA draft if he was just becoming available now. That's good, but what does it do for us next year? Does it make us a contender for the title, or just a better team?
Option two also seems to possibly involve trying to bring Pau Gasol in for a couple years. Might make some sense if he isn't too expensive.
So the front line would be a combination of Noah, Gasol, Gibson, and Mirotic. Doug McDermott, their first round pick (taken at #11 by Denver then traded for by the Bulls) would be the designated shooter. I'm assuming Mike Dunleavy is history (though I liked him a lot last year). Rose would be the point guard, Jimmy Butler would presumably be the swing 2/3, and there might be a couple other bench types that they'd work to bring in. I heard Shawn Marion mentioned. I also heard Trevor Ariza mentioned.
That sounds like it would be a good team. Still doesn't have that elite scorer, unless Mirotic becomes GREAT. Possible, but hard to count on.
We might know something by the end of the week. More to come...