Miami Heat

Five predictions: How Bulls could've looked with Rose, LeBron, Wade

Five predictions: How Bulls could've looked with Rose, LeBron, Wade

What would a Bulls team featuring Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James — all in their primes — look like? To the opposition, probably pretty damn frightening.

The tormenting 'what if' is again pertinent after Derrick Rose told the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson that he indeed tried to recruit the two stars in 2010 free agency, dispelling the notion that Rose wouldn't participate in building a superteam. 

"People always said I didn't recruit. I tried to recruit. I put out a video," Rose said to the Tribune. "But it wasn't for me to say that. I felt like the organization was supposed to say that. And they didn't."

Obviously, the video Rose apparently sent to big-name free agents didn't sway any decisions, as Wade, James and Chris Bosh joined forces in South Beach. But it's OK to dream. 

Nobody could say for certain how the three stars would have meshed or how the Bulls' young core at the time would have developed, but there are a few assumptions we're ready to make: 

  • The Bulls would have won multiple championships. We're not going to say how many, but the Bulls would have been a favorite to win the NBA Championship every season the trio played together. With three guys who can pretty much score at will and Tom Thibodeau's defensive gameplanning, the Bulls would be an absolute monster in the playoffs. Another factor going for them would be the Eastern Conference. Barring anything extremely ridiculous, they would have — at the very least — made the NBA Finals each year. 
  • D-Rose would not have won the 2011 MVP. You think Rose would get nearly the amount of touches he did with Wade and James in the midst of their primes? We don't. It's hard to envision a scenario where Rose would have had the offensive freedom to put up numbers good enough for the NBA's top individual award. On many possessions that season, Rose was given free reign on offense because of the lack of viable scorers. He and Luol Deng were the two that could create their own shot. If anyone on the fictional superteam were to win MVP, it would have been James. 
  • Tom Thibodeau would still be the head coach. How could you get rid of a championship winning coach? You couldn't. We're willing to gamble that the relationship between Thibs and the front office wouldn't have turned sour with Larry O'Brien trophies in the equation. 
  • The LeBron James-Michael Jordan debate would be... interesting. Many Chicagoans aren't willing to recognize the true greatness of James because of hometown bias. With James and Jordan both having suited up for the Bulls, the never-ending debate may have at least been entertained in the Windy City. 
  • The team would not still be intact. Home is where the heart is. We're going to guess that LeBron still would have returned to Cleveland. 

Report: Miami, Los Angeles appealing destinations for Bulls' Dwyane Wade

Report: Miami, Los Angeles appealing destinations for Bulls' Dwyane Wade

It seems to be a matter of when, not if, Dwyane Wade will be bought out by the Chicago Bulls.

The 33-year-old isn't a part of the Bulls' rebuilding process, and he seems more likely to want to play for a contender in the tail end of his Hall of Fame career.

When that initial report came out that the Bulls were considering buying him out, Hassan Whiteside said the Heat would love to have him back.

Someone in LeBron James' camp reportedly said they expect Wade to become a member of the Cavaliers at some point in the season, which makes sense because of what James and Wade accomplished in Miami.

Well, add another potential destination to the list: Los Angeles.

Miami Herald's Barry Jackson is reporting that Los Angeles is appealing to Wade, for obvious reasons given Wade's affinity to continue pushing and improving his own brand.

Jackson does not specify whether it'd be the Lakers or Clippers that Wade is interested in joining. James has been linked to the Lakers for quite some time and is a free agent next offseason. The Clippers have moved on from Chris Paul but still figure to make noise in the Western Conference this season.

While he doesn't seem long for Chicago, Wade is going to have his fair share of suitors awaiting him once he clears waivers.

Report: LeBron James' camp thinks Dwyane Wade will wind up with Cavs

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USA TODAY

Report: LeBron James' camp thinks Dwyane Wade will wind up with Cavs

There was a time in the not-too-distant past that then-Bulls Derrick Rose went toe-to-toe with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat's tag-team duo in the Eastern Conference.

Six years later, Wade has replaced Rose in Chicago. Rose made a pitstop in New York via trade. James, after winning two titles in Miami, went back to Cleveland. Rose joined him earlier this offseason, signing a one-year deal with the Cavs.

Got all that?

The NBA looks different these days, and according to one Cavaliers beat writer it could look way different sometime this year. That's because Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon reported Tuesday that people in James' camp believe Dwyane Wade will play for the Cavaliers at some point this season.

"As of right now, people close to James are fairly confident that, at some point this year, Dwyane Wade is going to end up on the Cavs."

Now, there's obviously a lot to break down here. First, Wade is under contract with the Bulls and is due nearly $24 million this season. Then again, a report earlier this month said that Wade is likely to be bought out by the Bulls sometime in the near future. That part isn't all that wild, but it's far from a sure thing, especially if Wade and the Bulls can't agree on how much Wade should receive if bought out.

Then there's the decision Wade would have to make after clearing waivers. It was pretty clear he wasn't chasing a championship ring when he opted to sign with the Bulls last summer. Who's to say that itch has returned? We already know he'd be welcomed back to Miami, as face-of-the-franchise center Hassan Whiteside said he would.

Going to Cleveland would, of course, put Wade in great position to go chase a fourth NBA title, but it would also put him alongside his good friend James.

There's a lot to break down here, but we know this much: the Bulls have entered rebuilding mode and clearly don't have a use for Wade. But Wade could also be part of a trade in the winter as an expiring contract that nets the Bulls future assets. He's also a heck of a mentor for what will be one of the best young teams in the league. He also puts butts in the United Center seats, which may be more difficult to do than in recent years.