After coming so close to signing superstar free agent LeBron James, only to see him head to the Miami Heat, Bulls GM Gar Forman is already looking forward to screwing up the free agent class of 2011.

“There’s a lot of options out there,” Forman said. “I’m confident we can get the hopes of the fan base as high as possible, only to have them dashed by players signing elsewhere.”

Forman cited players like Yao Ming, Tim Duncan, Carmelo Anthony and Jason Richardson as being potential players the team can court, then give an insulting, low-ball offer to in order to make sure they don’t have to actually sign anybody.

“The key is to make people think we’re in the market to sign a big contract, which couldn’t be further from the truth,” said team owner Jerry Reinsdorf. “We already have a substantial payroll. And have you seen how many workers we have at the United Center? Same with all those front office staffers. Those guys aren’t free. Maybe we should start cutting some of the big earners.”

Forman didn’t exactly agree with his boss.

“We don’t want to do anything crazy here. And let’s not worry about those front-office salaries. I’m sure we’re getting paid very fairly. Can I get you another cup of coffee, Mr. Reinsdorf?”

From the July 2010 issue by Matthew Wood. Click here to subscribe today!