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Report: Bulls believe if they miss out on Carmelo Anthony, they’d be leaders to land Pau Gasol

Jul 9, 2014, 9:49 AM EDT

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

The Bulls are still believed to be one of the finalists to land Carmelo Anthony in free agency, who is reportedly deciding between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles for where he’ll sign next.

Chicago is stuck waiting for Anthony’s decision, but they do have other players in mind should he end up deciding to go somewhere else.

And Pau Gasol may be at or near the top of that list.

From Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times:

According to a source, the Bulls feel that if Anthony goes elsewhere, they are one of the leading candidates to land free-agent big man Pau Gasol — unless Anthony happens to choose the Los Angeles Lakers, which could start the dominos falling and convince Gasol to re-sign with the Lakers. …

Besides the Bulls, Gasol was being targeted by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Miami Heat, the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks. The Thunder and the Bulls were the teams that impressed Gasol the most, at least until Tuesday, when reports from a Monday meeting between Gasol and Thunder coach Scott Brooks resulted in the Thunder believing the money wouldn’t work. …

In joining the Bulls, Gasol would be walking in as a starter on a playoff-caliber team that plays an unselfish style he likes. He has expressed his desire to start wherever he goes.

The Thunder are considered to be a long shot at this point, and not only due to the team having far less to offer financially than other teams in the race. Gasol reportedly was concerned about leaving Los Angeles for Oklahoma City, which is something that will plague the Thunder in attracting big name free agents no matter the team’s perennial status as a legitimate title contender.

L.A. would only make sense if the Lakers were among the high bidders for Gasol, which may only happen if in fact Anthony were to choose Los Angeles. The only other real option would seem to be the Knicks, where Gasol has firm relationships with both Phil Jackson and new head coach Derek Fisher, which would no doubt ease any transition.

The Bulls remain intriguing, however, because of just how close they’re believed to be to championship-ready, especially in the Eastern Conference. It all hinges on Anthony’s decision, but once that happens, the dominoes will begin to fall — and one of the first could be Gasol.

  1. robigd - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    If Gasol wants to win a ring, he goes to San Antonio.

  2. unxpexted1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:55 AM

    So you have Boozer, who it looks like they wont amnesty unless they get a bigger name. Taj, who should be the starter, and Pau at this log jam for the PF.

    As a laker fan, but am I the only one that doesn’t see the fit in Bulls. What makes them athletic is their athelitic bigs, and ability to guard pick and rolls. Pau does none of those. I like his fit offensively, but are they going to sit him down in the fourth like they do with boozer now.?

    • spursareold - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      I don’t think they can get Pau without amnestying Booz, so the logjam is probably not an issue.

      • bringin1234 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:44 AM

        You’re forgetting Mirotic and still missing that Taj should be the starter. Still a log jam

      • therealhtj - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:26 PM

        It’s unlike Chicago ownership to amnesty (and pay) Boozer to get a guy who’ll give you roughly what Boozer does (maybe 10-15% better), will still have to sit at the end of games because of lack of defense/hustle, and will miss at least 20-30 games due to his age and mileage.

        Thing is that 10-15% improvement at the pf spot is probably enough to get them to the ECF considering the likely step back Indy takes.

        And you never can be too sure with Pau. He was similarly languishing in Memphis and the move to the Lakers completely revitalized him. The BIG, BIG difference was that Pau was 6 years younger and still hungry.

  3. unxpexted1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:57 AM

    Even though most people don’t like him, I’d be down for doing a sign and trade for boozer (who nobody seemingly wants), as a one year rental, and try to go for free agency again next summer if we strike out.

  4. ocgunslinger - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Melo has too many shortcomings to lead ANY team to the NBA finals. Please, please allow NY to resign him but if not…. keep him OFF the Lakers. Will hurt the Lakers for the duration of his contract. Surprised Buss is interested.

  5. Gordon - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    I wish the Bulls would just move on from ‘Melo. It’s obvious he’s not coming here. Pau is a nice consolation prize, but he’s really a short term solution (1-2 years max).

    They should be on a full court press for Love right now.

    • bringin1234 - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      That would cost too, we would have to give up Taj and he’s affordable as well as a very solid starter. Not the star Love is, but not garbage either.

      Id take a starting 5 of a healthy D Rose, Butler, Melo, Gibson, and Noah. Butler can defend the 3 to help alleviate pressure on Melo and his defense, plus Taj and Noah are stellar defenders to pick up slack also. We need buckets

      • Gordon - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:04 AM

        Melo is not coming. He wants the cash, lifestyle & fame. He can’t get enough cash or lifestyle here…just the fame.

        I like Taj, but you’re not getting anyone big in a trade without giving up a good player.

      • bringin1234 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:12 AM

        Gordon, I totally agree. If we could offer the max that the lakers did, we would get him. But we can’t so it is what it is. I just don’t think Love is the answer either

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:52 PM


        I don’t think Love is going to resign with whoever the Wolves trade him to next season so he’ll just go to the Bulls for nothing once he’s completely free next summer.

        2 advantages for Love

        1, most likely he’ll be on a better team this yr than the Wolves.

        2. he’ll be on the Bulls and they won’t have had to give up anything for him to land him next summer.

        The Bulls have a tick under $42 million in salary on the books for 2015/16 season.

        So, add whatever they give to Pau to that (Boozer doesn’t count either way as he has NO salary on the books for 15/16 – only this coming season)

        So, the Bulls would have Noah, Rose, Taj, Pau and like $23 or so million left under the cap most of which would go to Love and then to filling out the bench in the 15/16 season.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        sorry, brain fart ya’ll…

        gotta ADD whatever Pau makes to the $42 million in 15/16 if he’s there and then try to still get Love.

        thought it was too good to be true…

  6. fordmandalay - Jul 9, 2014 at 10:25 AM

    Please Kupchak, FORGET about overpriced and aging Carmelo, and use that money to bring in lots of young up-and-comers and build a Lakers team for the next decade. Enough with the burnt-out retreads already! Oh and resign Pau dammit.

  7. xli2006 - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:34 AM

    Carmelo! Nope.

    Love! Nope.

    A 34 year old Pau Gasol… uhh, sweet?

    If the Bulls swing and miss on Carmelo, Love, and Lebron (if they were ever even in the mix) and wind up with just Gasol and an amnestied Boozer off the books that would be one of the more anti-climactic offseasons in the NBA.

    • theentity1 - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:29 PM

      The Bulls have already traded up to draft the college player of the year, and they’re in the process of getting one of the top young players in Europe. And they will have the money to add others. So no, that would not qualify as one of the more anti-climactic off-seasons in the NBA, considering about 20 teams have done absolutely nothing.

  8. harshedmellow - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Fordman, you are correct to want that IMHO. The Lakers are falling into the trap of appeasing the fan base with big names who are expensive and past their prime. Melo brings buckets, sure, but in capped league you gotta play the max card carefully.

    I hate the Lakers and will be happy to see them flounder a while longer, but if I didn’t hate them, I’d be against signing Melo. He and Kobe are not a good fit. Speaking of Kobe… at this point he’s just a PITA albatross. Killing you cap-wise, a difficult personality, etc.

    • blackman24 - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Another follower who just just rides the coattails of the media and stupid comments made on here by the usual folks. Melo and Kobe would have no problems playing together.

  9. jammer73 - Jul 9, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    Gasol is washed up. Waste of time.

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