NBA Free Agents 2010: The Risk of Pursuing The King LeBron James

Matt StaffContributor IJune 21, 2010

BOSTON - MAY 07:  LeBron James #23 takes a breather against the Boston Celtics in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2010 NBA Playoffs at TD Banknorth Garden on May 7, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

This July 1st , the biggest free agent hunt in the history of the NBA, and quite possibly all of sports, will begin.  As a team with cap space residing in a major market, it was to be expected that the Chicago Bulls would jump headfirst into the pool of Lebron James’ suitors.


Last season, John Salmons and Tyrus Thomas were traded to open cap space.  From that moment on, the frenzy grew day by day.  Rumors about James conducting business meetings and real estate searches swirled through the internet faster than pictures of Britney Spears’ crotch shots.


Chicago is an obvious choice for James.  Unfortunately for Bulls fans, it’s one of many seemingly obvious choices.  Miami, New York, and Cleveland are all at the forefront of the discussion.


Only time will tell what Bulls GM John Paxson has up his sleeve to lure in James, but one has to expect it will be big.  After all, he knows the competition will step their game up to a level we’ve never seen before.


One question that has seemed to go unasked is what will happen to the other stars this summer.  It’s widely expected that Dwyane Wade will stay in Miami and likely draw in Amare Stoudemire, Carlos Boozer, or even Chris Bosh.  Cleveland could easily sign James and make a trade to bolster their roster, satisfying James’ need for support in the process.


With a player like Lebron, a wild card can always emerge out of nowhere.  The Clippers could trade Baron Davis and Chris Kaman to Toronto for Bosh in a sign and trade, opening cap space and strengthening their roster for a run after James.  Whether or not the money in this hypothetical trade would work, you get the picture.


If the Bulls do throw everything including the kitchen sink at James and fail, where will it leave them?  They can’t possibly go after James the way they will need to in order to sign him, and get enough attention from Joe Johnson or Chris Bosh to sign them should they fail with James.


If they play their cards right, they might land James as well as another All-Star.  If not, they could end up completely empty-handed with the same roster as last year.  This is the worst case scenario but one that could easily play out.


These are professional athletes with egos the size of Jupiter.  Show more interest in one than the other, and you might lose him for good. 


It will be a delicate dance for John Paxson and Gar Forman.  Good luck gentleman, the grand ball is in just a couple of weeks.  Make sure to wear your best dresses and not loose your glass slippers.  The King is watching.