Bulls Insider: LeBron James Was "Legit Close" To Signing With Chicago Bulls

The now famous (infamous) TV special where LeBron James announced that he was "taking his talents to South Beach", leaving Cleveland to go play with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh in 2010, almost went down a little differently, according to a well-connected NBA Insider. LeBron and the gang nearly united at the United Center to play for the Chicago Bulls.

"I was well-sourced on that story, and it was legit close here," said Bulls Insider KC Johnson. "Trust me on this one. I was reporting it hard at the time and I got called an idiot a lot... But... If the Bulls had been able to trade Luol Deng to the (Los Angeles) Clippers which they had thoughts about doing, that Big 3 would have been in Chicago."

Of course, LeBron and Bosh instead went to join Wade with the Miami Heat, and won two of the next four NBA titles (but "not 3, not 4, not 5...."). Wade is notably from Chicago, and would have loved to have brought a title or two to his hometown. He eventually played one season in the Windy City after LeBron left Miami to go back to Cleveland, and well after Wade was in his prime. 

The NBA would have been a much different place throughout the last decade had that Big 3 move to Chicago actually taken place. 

Who would have thought that Luol Deng would have gotten in the way of another  Bulls dynasty? To be fair, Deng did go on to have two All-Star seasons for Chicago. But let's say that Bulls fans would still probably have been up for the alternate universe. 

Photo: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports