Buckle up Chicago sports fans, as the superstar-homecoming rumor mill is back buzzing again. You may have heard this tale before: NBA superstar with Chicago-roots hints at a possible return. But in the case of Anthony Davis, we can likely chalk this up to being a good sport.
Davis, who has talked at length before about Chicago being the "Mecca of Basketball", was asked about the possibility of coming to the Bulls in the future, seeing as he has a player option and is likely to be a free agent this upcoming offseason. The dominant big man basically stated that he didn't want to rule anything out more than committing one way or the other, stating, "I mean, I am a free agent next year ... but we will see."
As Davis rambled on a bit in his response, the crowd of Chicago sports fans started to laugh as event host Camron Smith interjected, "next question, next question."
Lakers star Anthony Davis on possibility of playing for hometown Chicago Bulls in future: “I mean, I am a free agent next year ... but we will see.” pic.twitter.com/Y377w1AlAQ— Eric Woodyard (@E_Woodyard) November 5, 2019
Of course, it would be a dream come true for the Bulls to effectively end their rebuild by adding the three-time All-NBA selection to their team, on top of the obvious marketing boost that comes with adding a perennial MVP candidate with hometown ties to your squad.
The cold, hard reality for the Bulls is on top of the fact that teams like the Lakers will have extremely strong pitches (i.e. playing with LeBron James), making Davis fit into their cap situation does not look remotely realistic.
Chicago would have somewhere in the ballpark of $32 million in cap space if Otto Porter Jr. decides not to pick up his roughly $28.4 million player option for the 2020-21 season.
The only scenario in which it was realistic to see Porter declining that option was in the event that he played so well, he actually increased his value on the open market. Though he has started to play much better as of late, it is unlikely that Porter declines that option.https://twitter.com/markstrot/status/1191513678539042816
So without that piece of the scenario solved, it is tough to see a path for Davis, in the midst of the best basketball of his career, coming to the Bulls. Of course, the NBA is the ultimate player's league and as we saw in the Paul George-to-the-Clippers deal, anything is possible when the players team up for a certain outcome.
If Anthony Davis was to reach out to Porter and the Bulls and let them know he was coming to Chicago, then surely Porter would decline his player option and all sides would work out a way to keep a solid team intact around him. But again, it would take the strongest of commitments from AD to even get the process started.
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