If you’re like me, and were just a little too young to bask in the glory of the Michael Jordan era of Chicago Bulls basketball, then you probably also hold a soft spot in your heart for the early 2010s. Led by Derrick Rose, these were the best years of Bulls basketball I’ve ever watched, but they’d unfortunately be cut short by a supergroup in Miami that goes by the names of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
For that reason, if you hold a little resentment toward this trio, I can’t exactly blame you. In a weird twist of fate, however, this same trio was at one point on the brink of joining forces with the Bulls themselves
Chicago was always known to be in the race for Wade and LeBron at the time, but a recent report has shed some light on just what went down. Believe it or not, the Bulls were actually much closer to pulling this deal off than you may think.
K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago tells all on the latest Bulls Talk Pod. “If the Bulls were able to trade Luol Deng to the Clippers, which they had talks about doing, that Big 3 would’ve been in Chicago,” says Johnson, “Trust me on that one.”
An already elite Bulls team would have been unstoppable if they were able to sign LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, and Chris Bosh in 2010.
This would have obviously radically impacted the Bulls’ chances to win a championship for the first time in a post-Michael Jordan world. Rather than Carlos Boozer and a collection of role players, Chicago would have acquired three Hall of Fame caliber talents and put the league on notice.
Here’s what the starting lineup would have looked like with this roster.
- PG: Derrick Rose
- SG: Dwyane Wade
- SF: LeBron James
- PF: Chris Bosh
- C: Joakim Noah
On top of all that, the Bulls would have still had an elite bench with Taj Gibson, Ronnie Brewer, CJ Watson, and Kyle Korver. Chicago would have also still selected Jimmy Butler with the 30th overall pick after this team’s first season together. It’s hard to think of a better team on paper if you tried, even surpassing the Kevin Durant-era Warriors in terms of raw talent.
I can’t help but think that Rose’s knee injuries could have been potentially avoided if this roster were to come together. Not having to shoulder the bulk of Chicago’s offensive load anymore, Rose would have almost certainly not won his sole MVP, but he could have enjoyed a much longer and healthier career as a perennial All-NBA talent.
Assembling this roster would have had enormous ramifications not only for the Chicago Bulls, but for the landscape of the league as a whole. If you think super teams are a problem now, I can only imagine the lengths players would have gone to in order to counter this version of the Bulls.
This team would have undoubtedly contended for and likely won multiple championships, and could have even put together a real case for being the greatest team of all time if things went according to plan.
Of course, there would be concerns about whether or not this team had enough spacing to maintain that level of success. But with this much talent on one roster, it almost feels impossible to fail. With Joakim Noah set to get paid after just one year together and Rose the year after, I’m not sure how long the Bulls could have reasonably kept this whole core together, but I’m sure they would have come out of it all with some hardware before it was all said and done.