Woj: Bulls Made A “Down Payment” On LeBron

Woj links the Bulls’ signing of Tom Thibodeau to World Wide Wes and ultimately, LeBron.

Seems like the Cavs and the Bulls are in play, and the Knicks are just an afterthought.

And how else does one read the tea leaves? It’s all very suspicious, as Woj points out: The Bulls urgently travel to LA to meet with Thibs who couldn’t get a head coaching job until he signed with Wes’s agency, CAA, which also represents LeBron. Woj adds that for all his years as an assistant, nobody considered Thibs for a head coaching job, not even the Celtics teams who built at least one title on the back of his defensive schemes. But Thibs signs with CAA and the Bulls’ owner flies halfway across the country to snatch him away from the Hornets at the last minute.

Now LeBron is “leaning hard” to the Bulls, who have a made a “down payment” on the summer’s top prize. Donnie Walsh has until the draft, which according to Woj is when all free agent decisions might unofficially be made, to make his own bold move and change some minds.


  1. Namifi

    This is so silly. All of a sudden LeBron is in the Bull back pocket over the hiring of some lame coach, and the Knicks are like Lazarus at the rich man’s gate. I feel like Kobe, (bleep LeBron), and the NYK haters (pundits included).

    • Dan L

      One thing I’ve always said on here is that the Knicks will be fine with or without LeBron. Still feel that way.

      • Namifi

        I guess I have just grown weary of all of the LeBron speculation. I was excited at first but I feel that since the NYK have been dismantled from the early 90’s days, NYC get no respect, and pundits treat the Knicks as though they have no tradition or have every one a title. I know the culture of the game has changed but so has the culture of those that cover the game, that’s what bugs me. The game is not enriched by pundits who try to influence rather than cover it as is. ESPN comes to mind, I don’t feel like they want to see Lebron in NYC that just how I feel listening to their pundits, NYC gets no respect.

  2. Jon

    If this is the case, and Woj is usually pretty on point, Walsh has to be agile enough to change gears on draft day. If the Knicks aren’t in play for James, Wade and Bosh, they need to throw themselves into the draft mix whole hog. That means buying picks, facilitating trades for capped out teams and making a Tony Parker trade if it’s there to be made.

    • Traps

      Something I’ve been begging for, already! Oh, if only Philly would give Iggy and the second pick for Chandler, Douglas and whoever instead of Brand…

    • Italian Stallion

      I agree. If all else fails we have to reverse course.

      1. I think Wade is entirely out of the picture and have thought that from day one. He loves Miami, the team has a good organization, the weather is great, and he makes more money there because there are no city and state taxes. All he has to do is bring in ONE of several other major FAs and he has a very good team and can work from there.

      2. I think Bosh is way more likely to join forces with Wade for all the same reasons and because Wade is already there.

      3. The only reason we are even in the hunt for Lebron is that an old beat up and hurt Celtics team all got healthy at the same time and played great, Lebron had elbow troubles and had a couple of sub par games in that series, and the Cavs got sent home very early. It was an incredible stroke of good fortune for the Knicks, but it’s still going to be hard to bring him here because IMO they need both Bosh and James. I don’t think either is going to come here on his own or with anyone else.

      So if Walsh feels we are about to strike out on all of the top 3, we may have to reverse course and try to rebuild via trade and draft. That’s what I have been in favor of all along as we got rid of Randolph,Crawford etc…. It’s too bad we had to give away some decent trading and drafting chips to get into this Lebron sweepstakes and may come away without any of the big three.

      Personally, I don’t want guys like Amare, Boozer, JJ, or Gay at max or anything close.

      I’d be in favor of resigning Lee and making other moves.

      I’m also not a big fan of getting Parker. I like Parker, but I don’t think he fits well inside the type of pick and roll offense that D’Antoni wants to run. We need a PG that has an excellent outside shot.

    • Italian Stallion

      By the way, even though it may be against the rules, I can’t see how all these deals aren’t worked out BEFORE the draft.

      If a team has no idea if they can sign player X, Y or Z via free agency, how in the world are they going to know who they should draft and whether they should make any draft day deals. It’s almost absurd to have the draft before the free agent matters are settled.

  3. JLS125

    Wasn’t Mike Brown a defensive coach as well? Why would LBJ leave the CAVS to go play for another rookie head coach who is only good at coaching defense. Sounds like a lateral move to me…

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