After taking his talent to South Beach four years ago, Lebron James is returning to his hometown to play for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Instead of nationally televising his decision, this time around James quietly broke the news to the basketball world, but it sent shockwaves around the NBA. Not only has he changed the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Miami Heat, but the Chicago Bulls as well. As the media drools over James, the Bulls need to focus on how they will build a championship contender.
The Cavs might not be done this offseason and are seen as a legitimate threat to land Timberwolves forward Kevin Love. If this comes to fruition, the Cavs would have the most talented roster in the league with Lebron James, Kevin Love, Kyrie Erving, and possibly Andrew Wiggins (if not traded) leading the way. Fortunately for the Bulls, they are not too far behind. These next few days will be extremely important for the future of the Bulls if they have any chance of winning an NBA championship.
Now that Lebron has signed with the Cavs, speculation is that Carmelo Anthony will make his decision in the next 24 hours. Anthony has narrowed down his choices to staying in New York and playing for the Knicks, or coming to the Windy City to play for the Bulls. The Knicks can offer Anthony nearly fifty million dollars more than the Bulls, so no one can really fault Anthony if he stays with the Knicks (would you say no to 129 million dollars?). However, if the Bulls could work out a sign and trade with the Knicks, or if Anthony decides to sign with the Bulls as a free agent, they (along with the Cavs) become title favorites. It gets complicated though if Anthony returns to New York.
Recent reports have indicated that the Bulls are closing in on a sign-and-trade with the L.A. Lakers for Pau Gasol. This might indicate that the Bulls know something we don’t know about Anthony’s decision because it seems unlikely that they would sign Gasol without an answer from Anthony. Would a Big 3 of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, and Pau Gasol be enough to take down King James and Cleveland. These two teams will see a lot of each other over the next couple seasons, and I feel a heated rivalry coming on. Depending on how much the Bulls spend on Gasol, there might be enough room to sign another free agent. Some names to look out for are Lance Stephenson (highly unlikely though) Trevor Ariza, and Greg Monroe, hopefully a combination of these free agents will be enough to help the Bulls.
In one day Lebron James changed basketball forever. He has completely altered the NBA landscape and the Bulls need to adapt to survive. Instead of having to go through the Miami Heat, the Bulls will now have to take down their division rival Cleveland Cavaliers to get back to the promise land. The jury is still out on where Carmelo Anthony will take his talents to, so as of now we can only dream of a Rose vs. Erving, Anthony vs. James, Noah vs. Love, Bulls vs. Cavs Eastern Conference finals. However, if this does not pan out, the Bulls need to have a backup plan ready if they want a chance to hoist the Larry O’Brien trophy.