The tormenting 'what if' is again pertinent after Derrick Rose told the Chicago Tribune's K.C. Johnson that he indeed tried to recruit the two stars in 2010 free agency, dispelling the notion that Rose wouldn't participate in building a superteam.
"People always said I didn't recruit. I tried to recruit. I put out a video," Rose said to the Tribune. "But it wasn't for me to say that. I felt like the organization was supposed to say that. And they didn't."
Obviously, the video Rose apparently sent to big-name free agents didn't sway any decisions, as Wade, James and Chris Bosh joined forces in South Beach. But it's OK to dream.
Nobody could say for certain how the three stars would have meshed or how the Bulls' young core at the time would have developed, but there are a few assumptions we're ready to make:
The Bulls would have won multiple championships. We're not going to say how many, but the Bulls would have been a favorite to win the NBA Championship every season the trio played together. With three guys who can pretty much score at will and Tom Thibodeau's defensive gameplanning, the Bulls would be an absolute monster in the playoffs. Another factor going for them would be the Eastern Conference. Barring anything extremely ridiculous, they would have - at the very least - made the NBA Finals each year.
D-Rose would not have won the 2011 MVP. You think Rose would get nearly the amount of touches he did with Wade and James in the midst of their primes? We don't. It's hard to envision a scenario where Rose would have had the offensive freedom to put up numbers good enough for the NBA's top individual award. On many possessions that season, Rose was given free reign on offense because of the lack of viable scorers. He and Luol Deng were the two that could create their own shot. If anyone on the fictional superteam were to win MVP, it would have been James.
Tom Thibodeau would still be the head coach. How could you get rid of a championship winning coach? You couldn't. We're willing to gamble that the relationship between Thibs and the front office wouldn't have turned sour with Larry O'Brien trophies in the equation.
The LeBron James-Michael Jordan debate would be... interesting. Many Chicagoans aren't willing to recognize the true greatness of James because of hometown bias. With James and Jordan both having suited up for the Bulls, the never-ending debate may have at least been entertained in the Windy City.
The team would not still be intact. Home is where the heart is. We're going to guess that LeBron still would have returned to Cleveland.