LeBron James Saga: How His Decision Affects the Chicago Bulls

Josh HermanCorrespondent IJuly 8, 2010

GREENWICH, CT - JULY 08:  LeBron James speaks at the LeBron James announcement of his future NBA plans at the Boys & Girls Club of America on July 8, 2010 in Greenwich, Connecticut. James announced during a live broadcast on ESPN that he will play for the Miami Heat next season. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Estabrook Group)
Larry Busacca/Getty Images

When LeBron James uttered that he was going to take his immense talent to South Beach and join other perennial all-stars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh on the Miami Heat, the entire NBA was strongly affected.

One of the places which it affected the most was Chicago.

The team in recent weeks has made moves that have revolved around getting one of "The Big Three".

They basically released longtime Bulls' staple Kirk Hinrich (who would've also been the best defender on a team now focused so strongly on defense) and signed forward Carlos Boozer for much more than he's worth.

They gave up their first round draft pick this season in the deal with Hinrich, ultimately hurting their future.

And let's not forget to mention the fire sale that happened throughout the past couple of seasons, ultimately leading to a current roster that has six players for the upcoming season (including Boozer).

Now, for team VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson, and general manager Gar Forman, the search for a contender seems quite unreachable solely through free agency.

The addition of Boozer definitely helps the team (although financially it doesn't), but he's still not a top-ten player in the league. Miami now has two.

So where can the Bulls go from here?

The free agency market that looked so bountiful a year ago, is now as empty as the hearts of so many in Cleveland. The top-three free agents are going to Miami, and most of the other notables have decided to stay with their current teams.

However, there are still some gems out there that could certainly help this Bulls team.

David Lee is the first name that comes to mind.

At 6'9" he'd probably be best fit for the power forward position, but could definitely slide to the 3, sending Luol Deng to the bench. He'll probably be the next free agent to sign, as he's really the best one still available.

Mike Miller is another name that the Bulls could look at.

Miller has the ability to play shooting guard (something the team currently doesn't have), but can stretch to a small forward.

He may not be as much of an offensive threat as he was earlier in his career, but I believe that he still has what it takes to put up the numbers that he did in Memphis.

Richard Jefferson is a name that hasn't been mentioned much, but could be an interesting prospect for the Bulls.

He had a horrendous start to last season, but started to mold into the player that the Spurs hoped he would towards the end. He can still jump out of the building and would be a good compliment to Derrick Rose.

Tracy McGrady is a name that a couple of years ago many thought would be in the spotlight along with James, Wade and Bosh this offseason.

However, with injuries hindering his performance over the last couple of seasons, he's slowly slid off of the free agent radar.

If he can take a considerable pay cut (he was the highest paid player in the league last season), then he would be a fit in Chicago.

Other names that could find a prominent place on the Bulls come next season are Nate Robinson, Luther Head, Shannon Brown, Derek Fisher, Ronnie Brewer, Al Harrington, J.J. Redick, Channing Frye and Kyle Korver.

I'm not saying that there aren't other possibilities, but a collection of these players could definitely help fill out a barren Chicago roster.

Then again, they could always fill their roster with one-year players and try again next season (although this experience may make them choose otherwise) to get a player like Carmelo Anthony or Michael Redd.

Either way, LeBron's decision (along with those of Wade and Bosh) has sent this franchise into a whirlwind, and while "The Decision" was made, many more now face the Chicago Bulls.