For whatever it's worth, The New York Times is reporting that an unnamed NBA executive said he believes the Chicago Bulls are the favorites to sign LeBron James, by teaming him with Chris Bosh, calling it basically a "done deal."
James and Bosh would join a young core led by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. James spoke highly of the Bulls following a victory in a first-round postseason series between the two teams.
The New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers are expected to join the Bulls in meetings with James during the first few days of free agency, which begins July 1.
In the Times' report, the executive also said the Dallas Mavericks are hoping to be a part of the Ohio meetings. The report also said the meetings might just be a formality.
This report does not mean doom and gloom for Cleveland's chances of signing James, however. The Cavs can offer James the most money, hometown love and an owner willing to spend gobs of money to get whatever players James wants.
I still stand by my opinion that James will stay with the Cavaliers, but I also believe if he does leave, Chicago will be his destination. On paper, the Bulls, with James and Bosh, would instantly become favorites to win the Eastern Conference and one of the favorites to win the NBA title.
James would have to consider if the team could afford to keep both himself and Bosh while also signing Rose and Noah to extensions when the time comes.