Predicting free-agent movement in May is digging for fool's gold, and we're out to get stupid rich.
Kevin Love may have a new home and 60 shiny rookies enter the league before the NBA's calendar year turns and the Chicago Bulls can add new pieces to the roster. Come July 1 all 30 teams will have completely different strategies than they do now.
But the discussion starts with two moves to which Chicago has been linked, but feel out of character for the franchise. ESPN Insider Amin Elhassan wrote this week that the Windy City offers both Minnesota and its disgruntled star the most attractive business partner. The team's core, coach and competition should entice Love to a winning situation, while it also has the assets to help offset the Wolves' big loss.
A deal for the three-time All-Star seems like a real long shot, especially with another trade rumor that's been circulating most of the season. Buzz surrounding Carmelo Anthony possibly spurning the New York Knicks' max offer to join a ready-now roster began floating in January, with Chicago listed as one of his preferred destinations.
While amnestying Carlos Boozer would pave the way to sign Anthony as a free agent, the Bulls would rather work him into a trade to avoid paying $16 million worth of dead money.
And then there's the three draft picks Chicago owns—one or more of which could end up going elsewhere in one of the above scenarios—in the deepest draft class in years. Picks No. 16, 19 and 49 will help address some of the team's most glaring needs, namely perimeter shooting, on-ball scoring and frontcourt spacing. The Bulls have been linked to everyone from Adreian Payne to Tyler Ennis, from Doug McDermott to James Young.
All of this goes to say just how much can change before the July moratorium lifts and free agents are truly free. Should that stop us from dreaming about which players will look best in red? There's nothing wrong with a little Christmas window shopping in November.
I've made my own wish list of one ideal free agent Chicago should sign at each position. Bulls general manager Gar Forman won't have the cap space to sign more than a few players, and he definitely can't afford more than one impact guy. As such, each entrant on the list is considered in a vacuum as the roster currently exists.
But there's one caveat. This slideshow will work on the assumption that Boozer will not be around next season. We don't know how or when it will happen, but I firmly believe Tom Thibodeau will spiral into depression if Boozer finishes out his contract with the team.
While this is largely a practice of fantasy, the criteria take root in reality. Otherwise, LeBron James would be on every slide. If a starting spot is concrete, like Joakim Noah at center, you're not going to look at a Marcin Gortat. So the bench is in play.
Without further ado, one ideal potential free agent for the Chicago Bulls at every position...