Following Dwyane Wade’s two meeting with the Bulls, the team met with LeBron, who was donning black Air Jordan 8s, in Clevland, and according to the Chicago Tribune, officials came away from their discussions “cautiously optimistic.” Just like every other team in the LeBron Sweepstakes.
The Bulls’ strategy is simply to get the big names: Wade. Chris Bosh. LeBron. But their pitch is made simpler because they have the roster to work around — point guard Derrick Rose, forward Joakim Noah — and a new coach whose defensive strategies should be well known to LeBron. It was Tom Thibodeau’s defensive schemes that booted The Chosen One and his Cavs from the second round of the playoffs.
A source familiar with the Bulls’ pitch to James said it centered on the young core featuring Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, the worldwide brand grown primarily by Jordan, the league-leading attendance and a world-class city with strong local businesses featuring global opportunities.
The source said James — as he reportedly has done with all teams — questioned the Bulls’ contingent of Thibodeau, Chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, Senior Vice President John Paxson and general manager Gar Forman about certain elements of the pitch.
Sources previously indicated Reinsdorf planned to address his commitment to paying the luxury tax when contract extensions for Rose and Noah are due. But the source familiar with Saturday’s meeting wouldn’t comment on whether that happened.