Q: Ira, I'm a Bulls fan, but I'm not sure about this guy Tom Thibodeau. Now the Nets got Avery Johnson and Byron Scott is still out there. Did we make the right move?
— Don, Elgin, Ill.
A: Considering how teams have courted Tom in recent years, it is safe to say the Bulls have landed one of the most coveted assistants in the game.
The recent coaching searches have featured a common theme: the up-and-coming assistant, be it Thibodeau with the Bulls, Monty Williams with the Hornets or even Larry Drew with the Hawks.
Of that trio, Thibodeau comes with the most impressive resume, considering what he has accomplished as a de facto defensive coordinator with both the Rockets and Celtics.
Still, it is interesting that where the Bulls truly could use an upgrade is on the offensive end, where they finished 24th in the league last season, while also placing 13th defensively.
Yes, Johnson has more of a resume, but he also has a resume of failure in the postseason, something that led to both Atlanta's Mike Woodson and Cleveland's Mike Brown losing their jobs this offseason.
But Chicago did not come up a loser in this process. The Bulls landed one of the most intriguing coaching options on the market.
Q: I would like to see Charles Barkley coach the Cleveland Cavaliers. I think he would be a perfect fit.
— Terrance, Somerset, N.J.
A: OK, let's get this straight, you want the guy who sits in TNT's studio on Thursday nights and watches CBS' crime dramas during the games to be one of 30 NBA coaches?
Perhaps that's the same logic to some thinking Kenny Smith or even Mark Jackson are qualified to become head coaches.
In each case, if it truly were that meaningful a pursuit, they first would take a seat as an assistant coach, learning those coaching ropes, as Williams, Drew and even the Lakers' Brian Shaw have.
Barkley says he wants to be a general manager. We’re assuming he believes those guys have greater leeway to channel surf.
Q: With the large free-agent class coming out this year, what do you believe are the Cavs' chances of landing another "big name" player in addition to LeBron? Who might that be?
— Brian, Elyria, Ohio.
A: Well, they can't land anyone through free agency, considering that there won't be any cap space.
Q: Being that this is a players' league and the players are all about money, why would free agents like Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh sign anywhere else but their home team if they stand to make the most money by re-signing with their home team?
— Terence, Jacksonville, Fla.
A: Because losing wears on you, which is particularly the case with Chris Bosh. And because signing back with your own team sometimes means having to live in Cleveland or Utah. What many are losing sight of is the "home team" signing advantage mostly pertains to the sixth, extra, year that you can sign with your present team. Beyond James, Wade, Bosh, Amare Stoudemire and Joe Johnson, that won't pertain to the majority of free agents this offseason.
Q: Is Dwyane Wade violating any league policies by having dinners with pending free agents such as Chris Bosh? I would hate to get a player such as Bosh to agree to sign with the Heat and then the league denies the signing or trade due to tampering.
— David, Fort Lauderdale , Fla.
A: As long as Dwyane isn't slipping a contract in front of an unsuspecting Bosh and telling him it's the check and that he should sign, everything is fine. And they also can talk business. They just can't invite Pat Riley to their table for coffee.
Q: I understand the July 1 and 8 dates, but what is the window for sign and trades? In other words, if the Raptors do a sign and trade with Bosh, when is it going to happen?
— Bill, Toronto.
A: General managers can talk about it now, but players cannot be brought into the process until July 1, and those deals, like all deals, cannot be consummated until July 8. The sign-and-trade period is the same as the free-agency period.
Q: How can David Stern dictate there will not be a summit? D-Wade, LeBron, and Bosh can do what they please, as they will be free agents.
— Phillip, Miami
A: After July 1, they can do whatever the heck they want. For now, until all the opt-outs are made official, Wade, James and Bosh remain under contract to their 2009-10 teams, and therefore can't deal in contractual terms with players from other teams.
Yet once July 1 comes around, it will be every man for himself, and if Bosh, Stoudemire or Boozer can take money off the table from another free agent, they'll do it in a heartbeat. These guys are competitors first.
PBT: LeBron James created self-imposed pressure to win "not two, not three, not four" titles. Thus, should the Heat's title chase fail, it's his legacy that will take the hit.
PBT: All season long, the Heat have largely coasted, only turning up their intensity when facing elimination. That won't be good enough in Game 6 tonight.
Big names of 2010 free agency
A look at some of the players hitting the free-agent market.
Video: NBA from NBC Sports
Bosh: 'We'll see who hits first'
Heat forward Chris Bosh talks about what could be a very physical Game 6 stating, 'hit them in the mouth, throat and their eyes'. Miami head coach Erik Spoelstra says the opposing Spurs 'attack you.. but we do the same thing'.
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