Wade, Bosh meet with Bulls, now going to take Aretha Franklin's advice and think

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Thumbnail image for d-wade-king-james.jpgFriday night, the Chicago Bulls had a tandem with them in a room — Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — that combined could turn them into an instant title contender.

Tomorrow, Bulls brass will be in a room with LeBron James, who alone could turn the team into an instant contender. If you paired James with Wade — or Bosh, who may be the better fit — in Chicago, LeBron could be at the head of the next decade’s super team.

The Bulls have caught everyone’s attention. Fans. Media. Most importantly, Wade, Bosh and LeBron.

Wade left the meeting on the fence, but is leaning toward coming to the Bulls, according to Chad Ford at ESPN. The rumor is the Bulls plan to put pressure on LeBron to commit at the end of their meeting Saturday (a bold but risky move,). Wade is going to meet Saturday with the Heat, and he likely will get the same pressure.

But don’t expect a hasty decision, Wade told our own Ira Winderman (writing for the South Florida Sun Sentinel).

“It’s going to take the weekend for everyone to think about what they want to do. This is not an easy decision to make.”

Suddenly you can hear Aretha Franklin in the background, singing, “You better think (think) think about what you’re trying to do to me. Yeah, think (think, think), let your mind go, let yourself be free.”

There’s a lot to think about. Of course that start’s with money — the Bulls are just short of having enough to sign both Wade and LeBron to max contracts. The Bulls could free up more cap space with trades of minor players like Taj Gibson, but they’d be a little bit short. They’d have plenty of money if they could move Luol Deng, but that’s not going to happen.

Then there’s the Bosh money issue. He doesn’t have near the endorsement deals that LeBron or Wade have, so he wants a sign-and-trade wherever he goes so he gets six years and more money. That’s more money than you can get just signing as a free agent. But would Wade or LeBron be good with being on a team where they were not the highest paid player?

Another question — and one rumored to have been talked about at the meeting — is how well all these guys would play together. Derrick Rose is mesmerizing with the ball, pretty nondescript off it. And he would spend a lot of time off, because both Wade and LeBron need the ball in their hands. All three are good passers, but there still is just one ball on the court (and don’t bring up the Olympics as an example of how well they played together, what happened on that team of stars was not transferable to an NBA regular season game).

There are so many variables, so many things to consider. So many things to think about. Think. Think. Let your mind go, let yourself be free.

LaVar Ball confronts wrestler at WWE event (video)

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — LaVar Ball has brought his Big Baller Brand from the basketball court to the wrestling ring.

The outspoken father of NBA draft No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball showed up with the newly minted Los Angeles Laker and another son, 15-year-old LaMelo, for a live segment on Monday’s “WWE Raw” at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

During the segment, LaMelo Ball twice used the n-word, which was broadcast over the air. WWE says in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that the language “was not scripted nor reflects WWE’s values.”

For LaVar Ball’s appearance, the ring was decorated with mannequins displaying his Big Baller Brand clothing line. He got in a heated confrontation with WWE wrestler The Miz, and took his shirt off to cheers from the crowd.

Bulls, with Michael Carter-Williams, first team to decline extending qualifying offer to Rookie of the Year

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Just four years ago, Michael Carter-Williams won Rookie of the Year.

Now, the Bulls don’t even see a $4,187,599 qualifying offer as worth extending.

David Kaplan of CSN Chicago:

Credit Sam Hinkie for trading Carter-Williams (to the Bucks) at just the right moment, netting the 76ers a valuable Lakers first-round pick that Philadelphia used to trade up for Markelle Fultz. Carter-Williams hasn’t nearly lived up to the typical production of a former Rookie of the Year.

The Bulls got Carter-Williams far cheaper from Milwaukee, for Tony Snell (who had a breakout year with the Bucks). But Carter-Williams continued to regress in Chicago. It’s just hard for a point guard with such a shaky outside shot, and Carter-Williams’ injuries haven’t helped.

With a smorgasbord of point guards that now includes Kris Dunn and Cameron Payne, the Bulls can move on.

Carter-Williams can probably latch on as a backup point guard somewhere. As an unrestricted free agent, teams will have greater comfort pursuing him. But this is a blow for someone with such a big accolade on his résumé.

Celtics’ reported plan: Sign Gordon Hayward, trade for Paul George

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The Celtics are trying to sign Gordon Hayward.

They want to trade for Paul George.

It seems those goals are not mutually exclusive.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:

The Boston Celtics are pursuing an aggressive summer plan of sequencing the signing of free agent Gordon Hayward and relinquishing the assets needed to complete a trade for Paul George, league sources told The Vertical.

For salary-cap purposes, Boston wants a Hayward commitment before it can finalize a trade for George and secure the most dynamic free-agent coup in franchise history, league sources said.

For Boston, here’s the hitch: While Indiana believes Boston can offer the best possible package, the Pacers may be unwilling to wait until the start of July free agency on Boston’s timetable and could turn toward making a deal elsewhere for George, league sources told The Vertical.

The Celtics can clear cap space to sign Hayward. They have the ammo to trade for George. They could do both.

But, as covered before, there’s probably not a path to signing Hayward and extending George’s contract.

So, how much would Boston surrender for George on an expiring contract? The risk he walks in a year, particularly for the Lakers, should lower the Celtics’ offer.

Still, Boston could trade for the Pacers star and roll the dice on re-signing him. Playing with Hayward – and Isaiah Thomas and whichever other players the Celtics keep in this arrangement – would be pretty appealing.

Rumor: LeBron James would ‘never’ join Clippers

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The Clippers hired Jerry West, in part, to help lure LeBron James.

But even with LeBron-to-Los Angeles (Clippers or Lakers) rumors swirling, that plan might not even get off the ground.

Mike Wise of The Undefeated on Freddie and Fritz:

I’m going to give you something on this show, and this is breaking news. Nobody else is going to have it.

I got from a very good authority – a very good authority – that LeBron James will never be a Clipper. I can’t tell you who, but I’m going to tell you it’s somebody that knows, and LeBron James will never be a Clipper. I don’t know if that’s because he remembers what the Clippers used to be, or he just doesn’t want to put his lot in there, or he thinks Steve Ballmer is just too animated on the sideline.

He’s never going to be a Clipper. I’m just telling people right now, for your edification. I’m breaking this on the Freddie Coleman and Fitz show.

I don’t believe in “never” in situations like this. As Jerry Seinfeld would say, teams are just laundry. The Clippers can change owners, general managers, coaches, players. LeBron would remain absolutely opposed to joining?

Maybe, but I won’t go that far without knowing his reason for resisting the Clippers. A lot can change between now and 2018, when LeBron can opt out.

One of the Clippers’ biggest selling points was always going to be Chris Paul, LeBron’s close friend. Reading the tea leaves, maybe this is a sign Paul will leave this summer – for the Spurs, Rockets or somewhere else.