As soon as the Miami Heat walked off the court in defeat on Sunday after the San Antonio Spurs’ title-clinching victory, the rumors regarding the future of LeBron James were destined to surface.
James refused to talk about his future after the game with reporters, but Yahoo Sports reports that James will at least exhaust all his options before deciding whether or not to return to the Heat next season.
Among the potential answers that are mentioned in the Yahoo report by Marc J. Spears are the Chicago Bulls. Spears writes that the Bulls have the resources to acquire James but questions if James would want to leave the Heat for an Eastern Conference rival that struggled to defeat Miami.
The Bulls could have the available money, and they have Derrick Rose and arguably the league’s best defender in Joakim Noah. Chicago would have to amnesty forward Carlos Boozer and likely trade forward Taj Gibson to get the needed salary cap space. But can you really see James with an Eastern Conference rival that couldn’t beat the Heat even when Rose was healthy?
Spears does realize that James was the main reason why the Bulls struggled to beat the Heat, right?
It does not take a rocket scientist to figure that the Bulls’ struggles against the Heat would quickly end if James were to sign with Chicago this summer.
But to say that the Bulls have struggled against the Heat is an example of lazy reporting. Spears simply just looked at how the Bulls have fared against the Heat in the playoffs and based his assessment from that. Throwing in the caveat of “when Rose was healthy” was also a poor piece of evidence for Spears.
The Bulls are 9-6 during the regular season against the Heat since the Big 3 formed. No other team, with the exception of the Memphis Grizzlies, have a higher winning percentage against the Heat during the regular season since James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh joined forces in 2010.
The only time the Bulls have really struggled against the Heat is in the playoffs. The Bulls lost in the playoffs to the Heat in 2011 and 2012. In 2012, the Bulls were playing without Rose.
So with the exception of the playoffs, the Bulls have had the Heat’s number.
There is reasonable doubt that James would leave the Heat and the sign the Bulls, but one should not discredit the Bulls with a pure fallacy.
If James intends to leave the Heat, then like with Carmelo Anthony, the Bulls would be an appealing location.