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NBA Free Agency Updates: Chicago Learning from Past?

By Erik Lambert

October 1, 2012; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau (right) and general manager Gar Forman speak with the media during Chicago Bulls media day at the Berto Center. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The market is quiet.  Too quiet.  NBA free agency sits in limbo, but teams like Chicago are letting that interrupt their business.

Bulls prepared with contingencies if Carmelo Anthony bails

Four years ago, NBA free agency couldn’t have gone worse for the Chicago Bulls.  Despite having the money and the winning roster, they struck out on every major free agent they sought from LeBron James to Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and Amar’e Stoudamire.  This eventually forced them to settle for Carlos Boozer.  In that time it would seem Bulls’ management has learned from their experiences.

While hopes are very much alive they can still land coveted All-Star Carmelo Anthony, the team has taken serious steps towards a number of contingency plans in case they are once again jilted.  Among them include bringing in European star Nikola Mirotic, pursuing a trade for Kevin Love and making a run at veteran forward Pau Gasol.  All of which would greatly help the cause, if not quite as much as Anthony.

LeBron James showing more and more he used the Miami

It went from a fun rumor at first to a slim possibility to all of sudden a very real situation.  Many speculated the next time LeBron James was a free agent he would return to his hometown Cleveland Cavaliers, the same team and fans he abandoned four years ago and left very bitter.  So why would he suddenly decide to return now?

Circumstances have changed.

First and foremost, the reason he left is no longer valid.  James departed in 2010 because he felt he couldn’t win a championship with that Cavaliers team.  The King has since filled his treasury with two rings.  In other words, if one were to look at the situation frankly, James has no further use for the Heat.  He joined them to win a title and he’s done that.  It doesn’t change the fact that he left a team and a town he loved in Cleveland to do it.  Making amends, and perhaps exploring the exciting young core the Cavs have built with Kyrie Irving and Andrew Wiggins are on his mind now.

As NBA free agency continues to sit in neutral, people continue to await the first big domino.  Whether it occurs in Chicago or Cleveland, fans can rest assured it will be loud.