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Wild rumor: Pau Gasol wants to play for Chicago Bulls

May 29, 2012, 8:44 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol walks off the court after a season-ending loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game 5 of the NBA western conference semi-finals in Oklahoma City Reuters

Take this rumor with some salt Bulls fans. In fact, you may want to take the entire Morton’s Salt facility off the Kennedy Expressway. Lakers fans can just ignore.

It’s know the Lakers are going to shop Pau Gasol around this summer as they look to revamp their roster. With that background we bring you Sam Smith — a guy known for wild speculation — now writing at

The interesting part, according to Lakers’ insiders, is Gasol would like to play for the Bulls. And what you hardly need any sources for is to see how he and Bryant basically can’t stand one another.

In theory, Gasol would be a fantastic fit for the Bulls — he would get them paint points from the block and he is dangerous on the pick-and-pop. He’s versatile and while Kobe Bryant may have soured on him, it’s a little Joni Mitchel for them — they won’t know what they got until it’s gone.

No Bulls fans, the Lakers are not taking Carlos Boozer off your hands. Don’t even bother. To make this deal work the Bulls would have to trade Luol Deng, plus to make the salaries balance Chicago would have to throw in someone Ronnie Brewer or a pick. Would Chicago pay that price? Deng is a great fit with Rose, Brewer brings defense and energy, and everyone needs picks. And Gasol is 32 with a deal that expires after a couple expensive years.

This has about as much chance of happening as Kim Kardashian winning an Emmy. The Bulls may stand a better chance of landing Dwight Howard, and that’s not happening either. But this is not the only crazy rumor we will see in the coming months.

  1. lucky5934 - May 29, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    I mentioned last week that Pau would be a great fit. Yes, losing Deng would hurt, but it may be worth it in the long run. Boozer coming off the bench with Gasol starting would more than balance out the inside-outside attack, while providing more options for Rose to dish to on his drives into the lane. Kurt has a point in the issues with a Bulls-Lakers trade, but the NBA has never been shy about a multi-team deal. Especially, when it comes to crappy contracts.

    • blueintown - May 29, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      So Taj is your third power forward? C’mon, man..

      • lucky5934 - May 29, 2012 at 9:23 AM

        Ever heard of the draft or free agency? It does wonders for roster weaknesses.

      • blueintown - May 29, 2012 at 10:35 AM

        What does that have to do with Taj being the third power forward in this scenario?

  2. lakerluver - May 29, 2012 at 8:59 AM

    The LAKERS do NOT want Deng or Brewer!! Both good players, but I just don’t see them in the PURP & GOLD. Now if the Bulls are talking Noah and Deng or Brewer that’s a different story. Don’t know if the numbers match but how bout Noah/Brewer for Pau/Barnes?

    • denverhoopdreams - May 29, 2012 at 9:56 AM

      lol, and this is what we imagine every Laker fan is like.

    • biasedhomer - May 29, 2012 at 10:23 AM

      You do realize Deng and Noah is what is being rumored fair for DHoward.
      And you want the same value for Gasol?

      • skids003 - May 29, 2012 at 10:31 AM

        Since Kobe “as soured on him,” he must be useless. (sarcasm)

        What the Lakers need is a Moses Malone type offensive rebounder, so he can get all of Kobe’s missed heaves at the basket. Only then might they have a chance again.

      • loungefly74 - May 29, 2012 at 10:50 AM

        lets not fool ourselves here…Gasol (despite the past couple seasons) still has tremendous trade value. agree, deng/noah for gasol would be a steep price for the bulls but ya never know considering the bulls must feel some desparation right now. i’m not saying its going to happen but count on a few teams making questionable trades every year.

  3. BigBeachBall - May 29, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    the average post game interview intelligence for the lakers will lose about 20 IQ points when he leaves….artest talks about cockroaches and kobe doesn’t know any words besides f—

  4. blueintown - May 29, 2012 at 9:02 AM

    No thanks.

  5. comeonnowguys - May 29, 2012 at 9:03 AM

    Yeah, five years too late. No thanks.

    • comeonnowguys - May 29, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      …Though, I’d take him in a heartbeat over Howard. That just screams “Ben Wallace, Part II.”

    • lucky5934 - May 29, 2012 at 9:28 AM

      What other choices are out there for the Bulls to go after? The top PF free agents for this summer are either past their prime or inconsistent players. Gasol would step in and contribute right away without being asked to do it all. As much as I would love to have cry-baby Howard on the Bulls, he doesn’t want to go to Chicago. So yes, Gasol from 5 years ago would be ideal. Gasol from this year would hold up well in the Eastern Conference if given the chance.

  6. loungefly74 - May 29, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    trade rumors are fun and a great topic to discuss no matter how improbable they are and they do contain glints of truth…that said…

    for sh*ts n giggles…i wouldn’t mind getting Noah/Deng in exchange for Gasol/MWP. it worked on the ESPN trade machine.

    both franchises are desperate to make moves. the current state of each team’s roster is close but still missing some pieces. as a Laker fan, i have the luxury to know ownership will field a competitive team every year, thats just a fact (okay, a down year here n there but for the most part…pretty…pretty good). the bulls are no joke but know their window can’t stay open forever especially with the Heat rockin’ and a rollin’ right now. transactions have to be made!

    • biasedhomer - May 29, 2012 at 10:25 AM

      Artest is negative value, adding him to a trade means you have to add more or get less.

      • loungefly74 - May 29, 2012 at 10:43 AM

        well…you have a point. i threw artest in there for $$$ reasons. as a Laker fan, i would like him to be on the bench and come off to lead the 2nd team…but thats a pipe dream.

        back to gasol…as mentioned numerous times on here, only a contending team (or a team forced to lose a star to impending FA) would want him (after all, the goal is a title and teams close would roll the dice)…lets see, from a heavily biased laker fan view point, i wouldn’t mind these scenarios for gasol: get Iggy from Philly or Deng/Noah from Chitown or D-Will from Brooklyn or…whoever, man…i’m throwing my hands up in the air. i have no clue what the lakers will do…

      • 00maltliquor - May 29, 2012 at 12:17 PM

        LOL! @ loungefly74

  7. mungman69 - May 29, 2012 at 9:45 AM

    I don’t see this trade helping the Bulls. AND no one wants Artest.

  8. therealhtj - May 29, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Bad trade for both teams. Wreaks of making a move just to make a move. Lakers are more likely to amnesty Gasol before the supertax kicks in than take on additional salary heading into 2013-14.

    I think the big takeaway here is Kobe’s soured relationship with Pau. Before, During, and Past his prime, Kobe always seems to alienate those most capable of helping him win.

    • bchapman2011 - May 29, 2012 at 10:21 AM

      You are insane if you think there is even a 1% chance that the Lakers amnety Gasol. He is 32 and owed a-lot of money of the next two years, but he is still very easy to trade and get multiple assets in return. Look how hard Houston went after him this year on multiple ocassions. The amnesty will be used on Worldpeace if the Lakers can find a suitable free agent replacement.

    • raidmagic - May 29, 2012 at 10:30 AM

      No way they amnesty that guy. He has value and will be traded somewhere. I nominate you for worse gm of the year for that comment

      • loungefly74 - May 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM

        getting a little off track here…but just throwing it out…wonder whats going on in Kobe’s mind? I’m sure he knows losing gasol will hurt and who knows what they will get back. i wonder if Kobe has thought about taking a pay cut. if he wants that 6th ring, he has to know he needs a stronger supporting cast then ever before due to his age. i’d hate to imagine that conversation between kupchak and kobe.

      • therealhtj - May 29, 2012 at 11:07 AM

        Don’t worry about that conversation ever happening. Even if Kobe were willing, there’s no way to take less money. It’s not the NFL – there’s no renegotiating even if Kobe wanted to. Not that he’d likely want to – he actually wanted a bigger extension by a few million, but Dr. Buss refused to pay him more than he could get from another team. Next time you hear Kobe talk about rings being his #1 priority, you can take it with a grain of salt.

        Hell, Kobe could retire tomorrow and still get that paycheck and it’ll count against the cap/luxury tax. The only way for the Lakers to get a reduction in Kobe’s contract is to amnesty him, and the only scenario that MAY happen in is if he has a career-ending injury in the Olympics or sometime next season.

    • therealhtj - May 29, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      I didn’t say they should amnesty Gasol, I’m saying that rather than trade him for scraps, they’d amnesty him. And seriously, other than scraps, what are teams going to offer for a guy who’s disappeared for the last two seasons and is owed 38.5 million? If the Lakers can find a sucker to take him and not get back equally mediocre players with garbage contracts, then sure, go for it.

      But if the choice is keep Pau in 2013-14 and pay a tax bill around $50 mil, they’ll amnesty him (they sure as hell can’t take the PR hit that’ll come with amnestying Kobe’s 30mil). Read the CBA some time before criticizing. But seeing the Magic in your screen name, you should know all about horrible General Managers.

      • dadawg77 - May 29, 2012 at 2:29 PM

        If the Lakers amnesty Gasol, I could see the Bulls amnestying Boozer which I think will create the cap room to make an strong amnesty auction offer for Gasol. Maybe that’s why the Bulls will keep him this year.

  9. sweetnlow44 - May 29, 2012 at 10:03 AM

    Please take him, Chicago. He’s soft and lazy. And even softer emotionally.

  10. fnc111 - May 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Bulls are screwed. Nice run but never had a chance of winning a title. Deng will miss half of next season because he isn’t having his wrist surgery until September- after the Olympics. If I were the Bulls I would do this trade in a heartbeat. At this point the Bulls are just trying to get in the playoffs next year. The other option is tanking the entire season, letting a lot of players go, and hope Stern can rig the draft lottery again next year.

  11. lmoneyfresh - May 29, 2012 at 12:34 PM

    Bulls have no reason to make this move. Next year is a wash for the bulls, no rose for 1/2 to 2/3rds of the season and deng missing at least a few months will make next year a throw away. Maybe they get into the playoffs as a lower seed and do some damage then, but that’s a long ways away. The bulls will likely ride out next season, get a decent pick, bring over mirotic in 2014 and hopefully trade boozer (easier with less time on his contract.)

    There is just no point in giving up 2 starters for 1 guy who really won’t help things next year. Next year will be a transition, so making that move is pointless.

    • blueintown - May 29, 2012 at 12:52 PM

      A bigger question: Should the Bulls all-out tank next season? Rose won’t be back until at least December, Deng will most likely be out at least a couple months; It’s a stretch to hold them out the whole season, but what about the benefits? A high draft pick, along with Charlotte’s draft pick from the Tyrus Thomas pillaging (presumably a high pick because, well, it’s Charlotte) and the arrival of Mirotic provides some very interesting opportunities, or at the very least ample flexibility. The last team to so blatantly tank a season was the San Antonio Spurs, and that is STILL paying dividends fourteen years later.

      • lmoneyfresh - May 29, 2012 at 1:15 PM

        You know, that’s the million dollar question. I think even without Rose and Deng for at least a few months, they’re a playoff team with the defense they play. I think it’d be tough for them to really tank hard. Boozer actually did play well when he was the #1 option and with Noah and Hamilton, they’re at least a 7-8 seed. Plus I just can’t see a coach like Thibs doing that. He rides his players hard and it works, I can’t see him stepping back like that.

      • blueintown - May 29, 2012 at 1:26 PM

        I agree, it’s not in Thibs’ DNA (or Paxon’s, for that matter), but it is something that I’m starting to think should at least be considered from an organizational standpoint. It would involve more then just letting (forcing) Deng and Rose to sit. They’d have to move some contracts for expiring deals. But what if the Bulls could position themselves to nab a guy like Jabari Parker in a couple years, a guy considered by some to be the best prospect since (gulp) LeBron James. I have a feeling Miami’s “Big Three” may end up a “Big Two” (Bosh and James) sooner than we think, leaving the Bulls an open window with a roster stacked with young talent led by a veteran Rose. It completely flies in the face of the integrity of the game, but this franchise isn’t built to win regular season games, it’s built to hang banners. Something to ponder..

  12. 00maltliquor - May 29, 2012 at 12:40 PM

    I do not buy for a second that Kobe and Pau cannot stand each other. As far as that trade scenario, I don’t see how that trade would work for EITHER team. Look, I know things have got to be done and house is going to get cleaned, but I want NOTHING outside of D. Rose going from Chicago to Los Angeles for Pau Gasol.

    Chicago was the best TEAM that I’ve seen in a loooong while (SAS the last 19 games thus far is even better) but all those parts I feel only work there in Chicago. I have mad respect for that team and their teamwork but noooo thank you. Hell, even D.Rose I might not even take (here come the thumbs down by the dozens), I think his career is toast. I know he’s been healthy his whole young career until this shortend season, but he REAKS of being consistantly injured for the rest of his career and as good as he is I wouldn’t touch him with a 10 foot pole.

  13. telergy - May 29, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    The truth is the only people clamoring and conjoring up these rumors involving a trade for Pau Gasol are Bulls fans.

    Lakers fans dont want soft ass Boozer and his fat overpaid contract.

    We don’t want Noah or Deng’s role playing-cant-get-it-done-when-your-superstar-is-not-there-in-the-playoffs slightly overpaid and lengthy (noah) contracts either.

    So Bulls fans, quit all this noise about Gasol to the Bulls because you have nothing outside of an injured Rose that the Lakers want.

  14. thisisether - May 29, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    Coming from a Bulls fan, next year is definitely a wash. No reason to trade, let’s semi-tank the season, then get a lottery pick, then regroup for 2014. Sit rose out for the year…. and amnesty Gasol????? Gasol did 17 And 10 this year. You don’t just amnesty a largely productive player. You still have to pay him either way! Bulls won’t even amnesty Boozer. Sit down

  15. tangledupinblue12 - May 29, 2012 at 1:50 PM

    Man, can we try to clear a few things up here:

    1. No one wants Ron Artest, least of all the Bulls. A guy who plays stout defense and makes an occasional shot on the offensive end? Trust me, we already have those in spades.

    2. When he was younger, Gasol was a great player. Now he’s a very good player who sometimes disappears on the court. But he is not some wild improvement over Carlos Boozer. Bulls fan get on Boozer’s back because he is an easy target for a larger sense of frustration that a lot of us feel at being very close to a legitimate contender, but still a player (or two) away. But Boozer’s numbers are comparable Gasol’s, and Boozer is a fine pick-and-pop player. In fact, his 5-17 foot fall back shot is probably the thing he is best at.

    3 If I were a Lakers fan, I’d pull my head out of the clouds and stop dreaming that you are going to get an all-star player in Deng, plus a borderline all-star center in Noah for Gasol. You never get equal value in trading a star, and you certainly won’t get better value if you’re shopping a 32 year-old former all-star owed close to $40 million over the next two year.

    4. I’m not sure if the Bulls need to tank next year, but I’m quite certain it won’t happen. I mean, have you met our coach? His name is Thibs, and he doesn’t really let his foot off the gas. Like, ever. This is a deep draft coming up, and the Bulls can find a quality wing scorer late in the first round. They have Mirotic coming over in two years, and that awesome, awesome pick coming from Charlotte at some point. Everyone relax, Derek is 22 years old. He’s got time, as does this team.

    • tangledupinblue12 - May 29, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      *15-17 foot shot, I mean.

  16. thraiderskin - May 29, 2012 at 6:45 PM

    well ok… bye

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