With the current news that all 3 players may talk over next couple days and that there is a possiblity of still playing together, I really wanted to see what it would take (salary wise) to sign all 3 players:
First here are some facts (based on what i've heard):
1. Salary Cap is going to be 56.1
2. Bulls currently have 30.0 million in CAP space to spend
Here are the steps the Bulls would have to complete to make signing these 3 players work:
1. Trade Luol Deng and James Johnson for pure cap space. Possibly Deng to Sacramento or LAC for future protected 1st round pick. Then JJ to a team for a 2nd round pick. This would create 43.049 in CAP space
2. Sign both Lebron and Wade to 5 year contracts starting at 16.0 million.
* "Regular" contracts without exceptions have an 8% annual raise/increase which would lead to a contract of 5 years for 92.8 million total.
* This would leave 11.05 in cap space
3. Then perform a sign/trade for Bosh sending Taj (1.117) + future 1st rounders to Toronto in which bosh would get 15.25 first year.
* The reason this would work is for 2 reasons: First, by performing sign/trade Bosh gets an annual raise of 10.5% which at the end of 5 years equals out to about exactly the same as James/Wade (92.25) and also adding additional year to contract at 23.3 million. Also, it would work for Bulls because if you add 11.05 mil in cap space + Taj's 1.117 contract x 125% it equals about 15.25.
These numbers are not exact and may need to be fluctuated by about .1 million but in general it is a way for each player to get REALLY close to their max contract while still all being able to play together.
Bulls, I believe, can still use MLE and Bi-annual exception on players like JJ Reddick and Matt Bonner.
In general, if these 3 players really want to play together, I still think bulls possess best chance.