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NBA Daily Dribbles: Chicago Bulls, the Top Choice of your 2010 Free Agent Class

Pat DeCola@Pat_DeColaCorrespondent IFebruary 23, 2010

What I’m Reading

The Bulls are positioning themselves to be one of the more attractive locations for high-end free agents over the summer. Yes, free agents. Plural.

The AI experiment hasn’t worked so well in Philly. Might it be over before it gets any worse?

Kobe should be in the lineup tonight for the Lakers. Good thing or bad thing?

Wow, Carlos Boozer is actually saying something smart, Utah-Jazz-notebook-Carlos-Boozer-says-he-may-stay-with-team.html">for once.

Production from Darko? Preposterous! Believe it.

What I Think About It

Chicago Bulls

$20 million worth of cap space heading into the summer.

A team that has rebounded after a dismal start to put them into very realistic contention for a playoff spot.

AND a worthy location for flashy free-agents?

Recipe for a monster Chicago bulls 2010-2011 season and beyond? Check.

This team already has a solid core of eager, young players. Just imagine if they were able to add a Dwyane Wade. A Chris Bosh. Or even, yes, I’m serious, both.

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Until now, Chicago has almost flown under the radar as a force to be reckoned with for next season and beyond because they had a rough start. But now that they’re producing, while also setting themselves up to be a player for the top of the free-agent class, the Bulls are my early, early pick to be serious heavy contenders sooner than we think.

Iverson

This is a sad situation.

When Iverson signed on with Philadelphia back in December, it was great for everyone involved.

It brought a franchise fan favorite back to a desperate city.

It gave a disgruntled superstar a second chance.

And most importantly, it gave my fantasy team, The Brian Scalabrines, a viable scoring option for nothing since he was a free agent in my league.

But it hasn’t worked out for any of us.

Philadelphia is no closer to being a contender than they were before they signed him and AI has underperformed, underwhelmed, and is on a very serious leave of absence that he is not likely to return from.

My fantasy team is stacked—we’ll be fine without Iverson—but the main issue here is this might finally signal the end of an era for one of the NBA’s all-time greats.

So long, Allen.

Kobe

All right, obviously the Lakers are better off with Kobe in the lineup. If they spent an extended period of time (say, 20 games or more) without Kobe, we wouldn’t even have to think twice about if the Lakers needed him or not.

They would.

But this small sample isn’t enough to prove such a theory.

However, the Lakers did survive those five games without him. It will be interesting to see if in the coming season or two, the team shifts to more of an equal-share squad and Kobe starts to relax into “aging superstar mode,” where he is still deadly in the clutch but takes a reduced role the rest of the game.

Long story short: Kobe will be back tonight. He’ll probably drop 42 on the Grizzlies on their way to a win and all of these chats will be quieted…for now.

Boozer

"I think it's a great possibility," Boozer said about his potential return to Utah according to the Salt Lake City Deseret News . "We'll find out in July," he added. "I'm not going to think about that, worry about that. We've still got 20-something games, playoffs, and a whole lot of basketball left. I'll worry about that when the time is right."

Alright Booz. I should give you more credit. You sound like a great guy right there.

But I still don’t think you’ll end up back in Utah after this season, but at least you aren’t a distraction. In fact, this probably eases your teammates’ minds as they wonder if they’re going to be awful next year if you take off.

Carlos Boozer is having a stellar season right now. He’s averaged a double-double since 2006.

The fact remains that somebody is going to give this man a lot of money. You know what team this might be? Chicago.

Darko

8 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, one block in 19 minutes.

Not overly impressive, but definitely more than we’ve come to expect from young Darko.

It’ll be interesting to see if he can consistently pump in 8-10 points with as many rebounds as his minutes grow over the final months of the season.

If he begins to find the success that we had planned for him before he was drafted, it might be enough motivation to get him to stay.

Let’s face it: A Darko-less NBA would just be no fun. Keep him here!

‘Til Wednesday…

PD

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