At one point in the summer of 2010, there existed a real—if unlikely—possibility that the Chicago Bulls would field a starting lineup of Derrick Rose, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Joakim Noah for the 2010-11 season and beyond.

Unfortunately for Bulls fans, that scenario never came together, as the three stars opted to take (and in Wade's case, keep) their talents to South Beach.

ESPN's Brian Windhorst offered new insight on the Bulls' ultimately unsuccessful efforts to land James, Wade, and Bosh. While Wade was clearly tempted by donning his hometown team's jersey (which he later would in 2016-17) and Bosh was interested in Chicago, too, the franchise was unable to secure James' interest, though they began exploring avenues to clear the “extra $16-18 million in salary-cap space.”

“After two days of meetings, they thought they were in competitive position with Bosh and Wade,” Windhorst writes. “They were not as sure about James…Nonetheless…the Bulls got to work on finding a path to land all three. They tried to move [Luol] Deng to the LA Clippers, sources say, but were turned down. They talked to Toronto about a sign-and-trade for Bosh…to leave room to sign Wade and James.”

Chicago felt cautiously optimistic about Wade after he asked to “arrange a second meeting” with the Bulls brass, who delivered their full pitch, complete with videos produced by Oprah Winfrey's company.

As Windhorst notes, the recruiting efforts—or lack thereof—of the Bulls' two young stars at the time, Rose and Noah, didn't help lure James to the Windy City:

“Rose…wasn't deeply involved in the recruiting process…Joakim Noah, ended up as the primary player voice. Although Noah has a magnetic personality and developed into a star recruiter in his days at the University of Florida, he was not the franchise player. He also had an acrimonious relationship with James. Underscoring that, Noah called James that week, and James never called him back…Rose declined to be part of the pitch to James, instead recording a video.”

Windhorst stressed that “the free agents noted Rose's missing enthusiasm, as well as the fact that Chicago didn't have an actionable plan to clear cap space.”

Instead, Miami's presentation—including Pat Riley's famous ring drop—and the allure of South Beach, no state income tax in Florida, and the impressive Heat organization was enough to convince James to join forces with his 2008 Olympic teammates.

As Windhorst notes, the three made the joint decision on a conference call a few days before to “The Decision”—not three years prior while playing for Team USA.

However, the stars' agents at CAA did strategically negotiate simultaneous three-year contracts for their clients, per Windhorst.