A league source said on Monday that Dwyane Wade is contemplating a free-agent visit to his hometown Bulls, who would be receptive to meeting with the Heat's All-Star guard.
Such a scenario seemed far-fetched on May 26 when Wade questioned the organization's loyalty to star players in an exclusive interview with the Chicago Tribune's Fred Mitchell. Also, Wade has made little secret of his desire to re-sign with the Heat.
Along those lines, the Sun Sentinel reported on Monday that Wade is hopeful his current employer can woo both LeBron James and Chris Bosh to South Florida.
Currently, neither the Bulls nor Heat possess enough salary-cap space to sign two maximum free agents. The Heat could get closer by unloading Michael Beasley's $4.96 million salary, which team President Pat Riley has tried to do.
That the Bulls might sit down with Wade, which couldn't be corroborated by a team source, speaks to how open-minded management is regarding this prime opportunity to improve significantly with roughly $30 million of cap space.
The Bulls hope to acquire two significant free agents from the unprecedented deep pool featuring James, Wade, Bosh, Joe Johnson, Carlos Boozer, Amare Stoudemire and others.
Talk that the Heat might be able to re-sign Wade and also land James and Bosh runs directly counter to a published report from Sunday, which quoted a league executive saying he "thinks it's a done deal" that James and Bosh are headed to the Bulls.
The Bulls are one of at least six teams James is scheduled to meet with somewhere in Ohio once the free-agent recruiting period becomes official at 11:01 p.m. Wednesday Chicago time. Those meetings are scheduled to take place Thursday and Friday.
Don't rule out the Cavaliers.
At least that's the word from Byron Scott, who told Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears there's a "50-50 chance" James returns to his home state team. Scott said he's basing that estimation on conversations he has had with people in James' camp and acknowledged he has had no contact with James.
Of course, this could be wishful thinking given that Scott is a finalist for the vacant Cavaliers coaching job that appears to be between him and Lakers assistant Brian Shaw.
"He's a loyal guy," Scott said of James. "He wants to win."
The same can be said for all the teams with cap space preparing to enter the wildest free-agent season in NBA history.
KERR SIGNS WITH TNT: Steve Kerr is headed back to the TV table, and he plans to stay there for a while.
The former Phoenix Suns general manager agreed to rejoin TNT as a game analyst Monday and will begin work starting with the 2010-11 season.
Kerr spent four seasons calling games for TNT before taking the Phoenix job in 2007. He announced earlier this month he was leaving the Suns, shortly after they reached the Western Conference finals.
Countdown to July 1
That's the start of the NBA free agency period, when stars such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and others are expected to hit the market:
DAYS REMAINING: 2.
FANTASY BASKETBALL: As speculation grows that a megateam could be created in Miami — the idea of Wade, James and Bosh together has been floated for weeks, and seems to be gaining steam with July 1 looming — Heat second-round draft pick Da'Sean Butler out of West Virginia has already figured out what position he'll play if he was ever alongside that star-studded triumvirate. "Passer," he said Monday.
ROCKETS ROAD TRIP: There's no waiting for July 1 in Houston — the Red Rowdies are already on the road. A group of the Rockets' biggest fans (dubbed the Red Rowdies when Jeff Van Gundy coached there) left the Toyota Center in Houston on Monday for a road trip to destination unknown. They'll meet up with Rockets GM Daryl Morey in an undisclosed city on Thursday, then deliver him to a meeting with one of Houston's big free agent targets. Let's see ... it's 1,090 miles to Chicago (Brad Miller, a top target for the Rockets), 792 miles to Atlanta (Joe Johnson), or a mere 239 miles to Dallas (the offseason home for Bosh).
QUICK FIX: Barely anyone is mentioning Minnesota as a major player in the free agent bonanza, but Timberwolves president David Kahn thinks his team has a shot of making a splash. Shouldn't take long to find out, he predicts to the Star-Tribune. "I'll let you know at about 12:04 a.m. on July 1. Seriously, not to be funny, we'll know," he says.Comment on this story
TWEET OF THE DAY PART I: Charlie Villanueva of the Detroit Pistons took to Twitter to start the NBA's version of an international incident, predicting (or announcing?) that Bosh is leaving Canada's team for South Florida. "Sorry to break Toronto heart, I love that city, but Chris Bosh is heading to Miami," Villanueva offered.
TWEET OF THE DAY PART II: And moments after that tweet, Villanueva decided to break the collective hearts of Clevelanders with this nugget: "You have a better chance seeing me with a Ben Wallace afro, than Lebron going back to Cleveland," the smooth-headed Villanueva posted.