NBA Free Agency: LeBron James Shouldn't Be Chicago's Top Target This Offseason

John HatelakContributor IApril 16, 2010

In an offseason as monumental as this coming one, big franchise-shaping decisions will be made. Before these decisions, however, comes the necessity of hatching a highly-crafted, well thought out plan, and then comes the execution of the plan. The Bulls have done that and put themselves in position to reel in one of the big-fish free agents in this historic class.

July 1 is the big date for the Chicago Bulls. With decisions like this, you have to be decisive. There can be no waffling because while you're deciding, all your options might be gone, and then you're left at the alter. 

With LeBron being the plum of the class, many people are saying it's the Bulls' duty as a pro basketball franchise to at least try to pry this once-in-a-decade talent away from Cleveland. I disagree. In my opinion, his pursuit may leave you getting this year's versions of Brent Barry and Ron Mercer. 

There is a very good chance LeBron chooses either New York, or just stays put with the Cavaliers to preserve his image and not turn half his fans into haters. We know the perception of him picking a bigger market for more financial opportunities will be there. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. There's no way he'd be any more popular than he is now. If he played in Antarctica he'd be able fill every second of his free time making money if he so desired.

As a matter of fact, he'll come off more about money than winning in my eyes if he stayed. In Cleveland, he can make $30M more in his max deal, plus he'll retain his squeaky clean image. More fans, more money.

If he was about winning, he'd join the Bulls. Of course, he'll want to be fairly compensated. So of all the teams that can't offer the max, I believe it's without a doubt the Bulls who have the best.

With that said, I believe the image-conscious LeBron James will stay in Cleveland. It's why I say hitch your wagon to something obtainable and nearly as fulfilling. It's time to go all in on Chris Bosh

Now that the league is expected to only reduce the cap by  three million or so instead of the seven to nine originally feared, the Bulls now have enough to also sign another piece to the puzzle. I don't know, maybe a Joe Johnson perhaps? It is likely he'll go for more than the Bulls can afford though.

The Bulls can then sign someone for the mid-level exception. There should be a few veterans out there looking to sign one to get a championship. 

Bulls need a shooting guard off the bench. Who better then a Ray Allen? Or how about interior defense off the bench? Marcus Camby is right there for ya. Or maybe some interior offense instead. Jermaine O'Neal, anyone?

Then there's the draft. The Bulls really need a shooting guard who has some size to him, and can guard as well as nail long-range jumpers with consistency. 

There's a couple good ones that would fall to the Bulls at No. 18 overall since they flip with Milwaukee. This draft is a deep one with all the early declarations due to the possible lockout in 2011. 

Terrico White, SG, Mississippi, 6-5, So., James Anderson , SG, Oklahoma State, 6-6, Jr,Jordan Crawford, SG, Xavier, 6-4, Soph.,Lance Stephenson , SG, Cincinnati, 6-5, Fr. Are some names to keep an eye on as possible picks.

So in closing, the Bulls should concentrate on Chris Bosh. He seems like the perfect fit. He gives the Bulls what they want, and they give him what he wants. A large market with an unselfish spectacular point guard, a big unselfish center who runs the court and does all the dirty work so he doesn't have to, and a team ready to win with him aboard. Oh yeah, and lots of money, too.