You watched the draft day moves by the Chicago Bulls, saw they freed up almost enough room for two max guys to go along side Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, and you thought, “That is where LeBron is going to go.”
You are not alone.
According to one NBA executive who spoke with the New York Times, LeBron is ChiTown bound.
The executive, who did not want to be identified discussing a player who is not yet a free agent, said he had gathered from discussions with his fellow N.B.A. executives that James was strongly leaning toward joining the Bulls in tandem with another free agent, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors.
“I think it’s a done deal,” the executive said….
But their proposals will be without the flair and drama of a free-agent tour, because James has decided to have everyone come to him. Various teams, like the Knicks, had lined up chefs and celebrities to help attract James, but with the meetings in Ohio, the discussion will be about rosters, not restaurants.
“He is going to make a basketball decision, so all that is unnecessary,” the executive said. “He just saved a lot of people a lot of money.”
What we’ve learned: That NBA executives are thinking just like you. But until we get real word from LeBron and his inner circle, we don’t know.
Still, I’d rather be Chicago than just about any other team right now. Even Cleveland.
Chris Paul broke his finger Saturday.
The initial diagnosis said the injury wasn’t serious.
Ben Bolch of the Los Angeles Times:
Paul obviously wouldn’t push it during the preseason. If the Clippers are allowing him to play, this can’t be bad.
Really, the most challenging aspect to this is grasping the concept that a broke finger can be a minor injury.
Brad Stevens has a big challenge this year – sorting the Celtics’ deep roster of similarly able players.
It seems that process is shaking out at power forward and center.
A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN Northeast:
it appears Boston’s first four bigs will be starters David Lee and Tyler Zeller, with Amir Johnson and Kelly Olynyk off the bench.
That leaves Jonas Jerebko and Jared Sullinger, potentially on the outside looking in as far as the regular rotation is concerned.
Lee is the best passer of the bunch, which could partially explain why he’s starting. Boston’s most likely starting point guard, Marcus Smart, is still growing into the role of the lead ball-handler at the NBA level. Lee and presumptive starting shooting guard Avery Bradley can take some pressure off him.
Olynyk can space the floor for Isaiah Thomas-Johnson pick-and-rolls with the reserves and run pick-and-pops with Thomas himself.
I’m a little surprised Zeller is starting over Johnson, though. The Celtics just signed Johnson to a $12 million salary, and I thought they’d rely on his defense to set a tone early. Like Johnson, Zeller is a quality pick-and-roll finisher who can thrive with Thomas.
This is particularly bad news for Sullinger, who – barring a surprising contract extension – is entering a contract year. It seems those reports of offseason conditioning haven’t yet paid off. Jerebko’s deal also isn’t guaranteed beyond this season, but at least he has already gotten his mid-sized payday. Sullinger is still on his rookie-scale contract.