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LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are waiting on Chris Bosh's decision

Jul 4, 2010, 8:48 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for d-wade-king-james.jpgA significant ramification of all of these free agents being free together and wanting to play with each other is the timing. If you’ll notice, every one of them is taking their sweet time. Joe Johnson was offered the max-max from Atlanta, and is still waiting to see if he can justify going with New York or Chicago, though he’s leaning towards the Hawks’ deal. Amar’e Stoudemire may be talking a big game in New York, but he’s still meeting with other teams.

And then there’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

And if Chad Ford of ESPN has it right, the Big 2 are waiting for the Big Third to make a decision before they put their name on an agreement.

Ford reports that Wade and James both want to be paired with Bosh wherever they go. Bosh may have the most options available to him, with the Raptors’ sign-and-trade a distant, and dying, yet still drifting possibility, along with all the other suitors.

The possibility exists here for a fierce competition between Wade and James, inside of the competition between teams for the three, for Bosh’s services. Bosh provides the legit big man neither James nor Wade has played with, and they may see him as the answer. Amar’e Stoudemire’s seemingly likely move to New York could also spur whoever does not land Bosh to head to New York to pair with him.

It’s a remarkably complex set of dominoes, and what’s most bizarre, each party is waiting on the others before anyone else signs. The most likely scenario is that James, the crown jewel of this free agency class, signs first, which sets off the dominoes. James can pull in talent wherever he goes, and has the most leverage. There’s also the pull of LeBron going back to Cleveland because, as they’ve reminded him a zillion times this weekend, it’s “home.” But if LeBron wants to be absolutely sure he plays it safe, this thing could go on a while.

Oh, goody.

I was hoping this thing would go on longer.

  1. Alex - Jul 4, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    “Bosh provides the legit big man neither James nor Wade has played with.”
    So Shaq ca. 2006 wasn’t a legit big man?

  2. Phil - Jul 4, 2010 at 11:13 AM

    Legitimate big man=Chris Bosh? Right-tell that to Dwight Howard. Bosh is a big man when against samller less physical players.
    As for sign and trade–the way he has treated the Raptors over this (how about even listening to them-as in Toronto he is the man and can make more endorsement money than any other market outside NYC in the US). The Raps will probably not sign/trade him–and he can cry over his lost money, the jerk.

  3. John Pileggi - Jul 4, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    James should go back home, as should Wade. Bosh and Amare should head for New York (or at least one), Knicks trade for Ellis and/or Parker, Mike Miller goes to Lakers and let’s all enjoy the summer.

  4. FLORIDA - Jul 4, 2010 at 11:57 AM

    Wade goes home to Chicago, Bosh goes with him. Let LeBron have Cleveland, and good luck “pulling in talent” wherever he goes. Another poster on another blog said it best: LeBron is this era’s Wilt. Win a lot of games, maybe a championship, maybe even two, but he’ll never be confused for Jordan or even Kobe. And without titles, he’ll never compete with Kobe for marketshare in the far east, which is where he REALLY wants his name to be known. Sorry ‘Bron, ain’t happenin’.

  5. Randall - Jul 4, 2010 at 12:03 PM

    It’s hilarious watching team owners/execs embarrass themselves begging these guys to sign. Esp. when the ones truly worth having aren’t going anywhere, Except Bosh. And good on the Raptors for leaning towards no sign/trade. Even better, tell him “We’ll sign you, then trade you where WE want to”. That’s how it should be.

  6. gChowy - Jul 4, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    I live in T.O and Bosh is soft. Be careful what you wish for people, there is a reason Mike’s buying his plane ticket out of town.

  7. terry - Jul 4, 2010 at 1:30 PM

    After all the bs, rumors, and all of that yada yada stuff it comes down to this – In the FINALS when it’s all on the line, who DEMANDS the ball and takes over? Out of the “big three” the ONLY one is Wade and the other two know that. Bosh is quite talented but (so far) he is NOT the go-to guy. Lebron has NOT shown that late game toughness either.
    Sign Wade and then wait for the phone to ring.
    And it will.

  8. mark - Jul 4, 2010 at 1:42 PM

    Just laughing here, I guess the new plan…. is get your $200 million first (cause the kids got to eat, you know) and make sure it works out for the maximum endorsements….don’t worry about getting to actually be part of a champion. Blog back after he wins six rings, then you’ll have something to talk about.

  9. john Berning - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:16 PM

    Should be “LeBron James and Dwyane Wade are waiting FOR Chris Bosh’s decision”
    You wait FOR a decision. you dont wait ON a decision.
    Been in school ever Matt Moore ??

  10. G - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:36 PM

    Why the media does not have a problem on the big 3 going to chicago but when people were talking about them 3 going to Miami the media was all over saying that there is no way and that Lebron would not leave Cleveland, why so much hate for Miami, Pat, and the heat? Is it because they know for sure the heat will dominate for the next six seasons with a hall of fame coach.

  11. Dan - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:37 PM

    No, he wasn’t, because Shaq was WAY over the hill last year and a shadow of his former self

  12. Ben - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    Bosh seems to have a really inflated opinion of himself.
    The guy is hardly better than Josh Smith (give Smith 1 more year to improve). The real sleeper out there is David Lee — he is MUCH cheaper than Bosh (6-7M less/yr sound good?) and I’d imagine Chicago should seek LBJ/DW+Lee if Bosh’s idiot self wants a max.
    I even hear murmurs that Toronto fans think the highly skilled Bargnani is BETTER than Bosh.
    Has Toronto even been to the playoffs the last 3 years? LBJ and DW have taken some hideous supporting casts to the playoffs and beyond. WTF has Bosh done?

  13. Laszlo Vilsay - Jul 4, 2010 at 2:40 PM

    I buy that James and Wade are very interested in whether their recruitment efforts with Bosh will have any effect, but I don’t think any of these guys will be playing together next season.
    James stays in Cleveland.
    Wade stays in Miami.
    Bosh is a talent who thinks he’s one of the league’s greatest players, despite never winning anything. I agree with gChowy. Any team that tries to build around Bosh – like the Knicks – is in for heartache.

  14. Anonymous - Jul 4, 2010 at 4:45 PM

    The grammar is acceptable.

  15. edgy - Jul 4, 2010 at 5:29 PM

    Uh — circa 2006 — NBA championship year NOT circa 2009 when he was with the Cavs.

  16. edgy - Jul 4, 2010 at 5:37 PM

    WTF has Bosh done?
    Certainly more than David Lee. You do realize that the Raptors HAVE been to the playoffs – twice – with Bosh and the Knicks haven’t been there with Lee or do you? I’d take Bosh over Lee in a New York second (pun intended).

  17. terry - Jul 4, 2010 at 11:36 PM

    The Bulls should sign Wade, make sure the whole world knows it and then wait for the phone to ring.
    Bosh – WTF has he done? And his insistence on a sign and trade is a barrier. They don’t need him – there are other PFs out there.
    James – Too much baggage. All the talent in the world but he is NOT a closer. Wade IS.
    This whole thing is about getting the guy who DEMANDS the ball in crunch time – how many times did MJ do that?. 4 years ago that’s what Wade did. Give him the right teammates and he can do it again. Neither Bosh nor James has EVER done that and until you HAVE done it you HAVEN’T done it.
    One more thing – Sam Smith, aka the smartest writer out there, made a very good point – Wade doesn’t want to play with James, he wants to BEAT him.

  18. Nicolas - Jul 5, 2010 at 2:13 AM

    I’m not sold on Bosh as the legit big man needed to win titles. He’s at least a very good player, the man on a terrible team, but the big man that brings in the titles, not sold. Bosh will get you nice stats, but he’s not the scary inside presence.
    If you look at the top four big men of this class not a single one of them will get you more black than D-Wade will. David Lee is IMO the most disrespected player of this class. Is Amare Stoudamire that big of an upgrade over David Lee? I’m not really sure. Stoudamire is better offensively, but he wont have Steve Nash getting him the rock anymore, and he’s the only one of the top four big men that wont get you 10 boards a game. Not to mention the injury potential with Amare’s bad eye. I really think the Knick’s are making a mistake unless Amare is bringing another big name with him.
    If Bosh is the guy everyones waiting for and Bosh really does want to win then the place he will go is to Miami. D-Wade is the player these free agents should be trying to pair themselves with to win the titles. He’s the only player in this class that you know will want, get, and convert the last second shot in game a 7 of an NBA finals. He may be the best takeover a game player in the league. Wade is also a game changer on the defensive end. So if Bosh is smart he’d probably want to sign with the Heat. LeBron may want to stay away only because him and Wade are similar position wise. James may also not be comfortable with not being the guy who gets the last shot of the game or possibly being overshadowed. They may both be too big for one town. Bosh would probably be more comfortable in that role. If Amare is a Knick now the Heat have more pressure on them to pull Bosh.

  19. Nicolas - Jul 5, 2010 at 2:18 AM

    ^^^I meant more “blocks” than D-Wade will, not “black.” though that is an interesting way to look at things. David Lee will surely not get a team more black if thats what they need to get the rings. Hmmm.

  20. terry - Jul 5, 2010 at 12:40 PM

    On a bad nix team last year David Lee averaged 20.2 ppg, 11.7 rpg – 2.8 offensive 8.9 defensive, and 3.6 assists. And he played at Florida so he and Noah would hit it off nicely.
    The Bulls should sign Wade and Lee. Bosh is not the man, James is not the man. WADE is the man – a proven winner.
    There never has been, is not now and never will be a super-team. The team that wins plays like a TEAM.

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