An NBA executive told The New York Times that, based on discussions with other team officials, he believes that LeBron James and Chris Bosh have already decided to sign with the Bulls.
In that case, James' meetings with teams this coming week would be merely a formality.
"I think it's a done deal," the executive said about James departing Cleveland for Chicago and taking Bosh with him.
To listen to World Wide Wes, LeBron will never look back on Cleveland. “He’s up out of there,” is the way he tells it to people, but LeBron’s Akron crew has to tsk-tsk such public talk because they all live in Northeast Ohio, and maybe always will. "We're going to Chicago," WIlliam Wesley tells people," "and Chris Bosh is coming, too."
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: 'World Wide Wes', one of the NBA's great power brokers, believes the Chicago Bulls are poised for a big off-season. And he's right.
After dealing Kirk Hinrich and their 17th pick in Thursday's draft and getting nothing but cap space back, the Bulls have the financial flexibility to tender two max' contracts.
So The Windy City could sign LeBron James and bring in Chris Bosh, too.
Other clubs - the Miami Heat and New York Knicks - can also offer a pair of max contracts, but the Bulls distinguish themselves by already having a star point guard in Derrick Rose and an established four-man with Joakim Noah.
Such a supporting cast may be enough for James to turn his back on the Cleveland Cavaliers -even though they can offer the most money, longest term, and he grew up in nearby Akron, Ohio.
Even if James gets sentimental and re-signs with the Cavaliers, the Bulls could turn to superstar Joe Johnson, which isn't a bad plan-B.
Bottom line: Chicago is the team to watch this summer.
Jalen Rose: ``It is almost CERTAIN that LEBRON JAMES WILL NOT be returning to the CAVS!”
HoopsVibe`s Very Quick Call: Rose, an analyst for ESPN, also tweets that the Bulls, Clippers, and Heat are the top three destinations for James.
Of course, all these organizations have issues: the Bulls - a contender because of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah - have unstable management with GM John Paxson going all 'Fight Club' on former coach Vinny Del Negro; the Clippers have talented players, but an awful owner in Donald Sterling; and the Heat may prefer a big like Chris Bosh as a sidekick to Dwyane Wade.
The Cavaliers aren't out of the sweepstakes, as they have a financial and personal advantage over the competition.
For instance, they can offer James $30 million more than any team. They can also offer an extra year on his max' contract.
And don't forget that James, who can afford to live anywhere in the world during the summer, makes his off-season home in nearby Akron, Ohio, where he grew up.
Clearly, James is comfortable in Cleveland. And clearly, he`s connected to Ohio. This loyalty will be a huge factor in his decision.
Rose may be right: James could still bolt on the Cavaliers. But it`s far from a certainty.
Dear Chris Bosh,
Amar’e once said, “No doubt about it, I’m better than Chris Bosh.”
Official: LeBron James and the Cavs have beaten Derrick Rose’s Bulls in a sweep and LeBron has found the cure to AIDS.
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