The Chicago Bulls look to be strengthen their case for Carmelo Anthony, whom the Lakers are no longer in contention for, by trading for Pau Gasol, a player that appealed to Anthony. The two teams appear to be finalizing a deal that would send Gasol to Chicago.
Pau Gasol, Chicago working to complete an agreement, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 12, 2014
While initial rumors Friday afternoon stated the Lakers had renounced their rights to Gasol, ruling out a sign-and-trade possibility, it appears that may not be the case. For the Bulls to sign Gasol and maintain flexibility to sign Carmelo Anthony as well, the Bulls would need to come to an agreement with the Lakers.
The most common name thrown out is Carlos Boozer, a forward on a big contract, but an expiring one. With the Lakers clearly committed to future flexibility, Boozer fits their plans as his deal expires next summer and opens up cap space for the Lakers to take another shot at the big-name free agents.
If the Lakers do take on Boozer’s contract, it very well may come with a first round pick, as the Lakers would be delivering the Bulls an upgrade at forward and taking away their worst contract as well.
Gasol would offer the Bulls one of the best passing front courts in the league, as he and Joakim Noah are both fantastic with the ball. It also gives Gasol a defensive presence to hide his deficiency on that end of the court. In a sense, it’s nearly a perfect situation for the Spaniard, who turned down a deal with the Lakers to go play for a contender.