For the Bulls, does signing Boozer guarantee LeBron or Wade?

Doug Thonus of Bulls Confidential wonders if the signing of Carlos Boozer would bring LeBron or Wade to Chicago.

Say the Bulls sign Boozer today.

Bosh will then play with either Wade or LeBron in Cleveland or Miami. The other guy is then left with what? If Bosh joins LeBron in Miami Cleveland then Miami’s off-season is down to some combination of second tier guys like David Lee, Anthony Morrow, JJ Reddick, and Brendan Haywood. He said he’d leave without getting significant improvements, but significant improvements would clearly not be coming.

If Bosh goes to Miami with Wade the case for LeBron isn’t nearly as straight forward. He still may opt to continue to not win titles for his home town, but his odds of winning will continue to fall as his team gets worse and still lacks assets to improve considerably. The Bulls team will then have Rose, Deng, Boozer, and Noah.

Is that enough to lock in LeBron? How badly does he want to win?

You’ll notice I crossed out a typo that Thonus made to make the piece a little more clear. He was talking about Bosh joining LeBron in Cleveland, not Miami.

Regardless, it’s an interesting take on the latest news — that LeBron wants Bosh in Cleveland, while Wade wants him in Miami.

Bosh is a difficult get because he apparently wants the sixth year that the Raptors can offer via a sign-and-trade, so whatever team is on the other end of that will have to give up significant assets. He doesn’t seem to like the idea of playing in Cleveland either. (City-wise, Cleveland just isn’t Chicago, New York or Miami.)

So the argument goes, if the Bulls lock up Boozer, who would be a great fit alongside the defensive-minded Noah, they’d eventually end up with LeBron or Wade. Bosh would go to Cleveland or Miami, and then the superstar that doesn’t get Bosh would be left with the decision — stay in Cleveland or Miami or go play for the Bulls with a supporting cast of Rose, Boozer, Noah and Deng?

I’d actually prefer David Lee to Boozer (cheaper and less injury prone), so Wade might too, and elect to stay in Miami if the Heat can sign Lee. But he seems to already be on the fence with the idea of playing in Chicago, so if he misses out on getting LeBron or Bosh as a teammate, the Bulls suddenly look very attractive, especially with Boozer in tow.

For LeBron, if Bosh joins Wade in Miami, staying in Cleveland becomes even tougher. Then there’s Chicago, who would have that aforementioned supporting cast in place — would he sign a five-year deal and leave the money on the table? As Thonus asks, how important is winning to him?

That sixth year shouldn’t be that important to LeBron. He would be 30 in the final year of a five-year deal, so he would still be in line for a very big salary. In other words, that $30 million that everyone loves to throw about would really only be $4 million plus the difference in his theoretical sixth-year salary ($25 million) and the first year of his next contract.

So, really, under that scenario, the question would be — how important is Cleveland to LeBron?

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