The NBA free agent race for LeBron James and Chris Bosh may be over before it even begins.
According to a report in the New York Times, a team executive from one of the clubs chasing James said the soon-to-be free agent was strongly leaning towards joining the Chicago Bulls along with Chris Bosh. The source said he gathered as much from discussions with his fellow NBA executives, saying, “I think it’s a done deal.”
The source also told the paper that the Miami Heat, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets and Los Angeles Clippers would also try to lure James away from the Cleveland Cavaliers once the window for free agent discussions opens on July 1. The paper says that the Dallas Mavericks will try to arrange a meeting with James as well.
James, who has decided to remain in Ohio instead of going on a city tour, will meet with interested teams on his home turf. He has spent all seven years of his young career with his hometown Cavaliers but has failed to win an NBA championship.
The Bulls are one of many teams who have been busy trying to free up cap space in an attempt to sign some of the big-name free agents on this summer’s market. In addition to James and Bosh, the free agent class also includes NBA all-stars Dwyane Wade of the Heat and Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks.
Bosh, drafted fourth overall by the Raptors in 2003, has averaged 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds over seven seasons in Toronto. He has gone on record as saying re-signing with the Raptors remains an option, but he will test the open market.