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Updated Report: Bulls, Pau Gasol nearing deal

Jul 12, 2014, 1:11 AM EST

Los Angeles Lakers v Denver Nuggets Getty Images

UPDATE 2:08 am: Pau Gasol is a big city guy — born and raised in Barcelona — and he looks like he is headed to a big city team.

Gasol and the Chicago Bulls are nearing a deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports. This is a straight up signing, not a sign-and-trade.

Two quick thoughts:

First, this is an upgrade over Carlos Boozer. Gasol is a much more versatile offensive player, and he can play the four next to Joakim Noah or the five next to Taj Gibson.

Second, this kills any chance of Carmelo Anthony coming to the Bulls, he is headed back to the Knicks. Which maybe is what he wanted all along, but the Lakers and, with this deal, Bulls have moved on.

1:11 am: Pau Gasol is a very skilled big man — has tremendous footwork and can score in the post, has a midrange game (with the occasional three), plus is a gifted passer with a high hoops IQ. He can fit in a lot of systems, just not Mike D’Antoni’s.

If you need proof team’s think he still has value, look at the two teams left likely to get him — San Antonio with Gregg Popovich and Chicago with Tom Thibodeau.

Those are the leading candidates, reports Mark Stein on Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.

The Chicago Bulls and the San Antonio Spurs have emerged as the two leading contenders to land prized free-agent big man Pau Gasol, according to sources close to the process.

Sources told ESPN.com that Gasol is giving strong consideration to signing with defending champion San Antonio — despite the Spurs’ limited financial resources with such a deep roster — in the event that the Bulls can’t strike a sign-and-trade arrangement with the Lakers for Gasol.

If that’s true, the Spurs might be feeling pretty good right now, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

The Lakers can do a sign-and-trade however they can bring very little back if they want to sign Jordan Hill and Nick Young (who they have verbal agreements to sign), basically they can’t bring Carlos Boozer back (they can bring something back if they stretch out Nash). Or, the Lakers can bring a third team into the mix and make it more complex. All that to get a pick that goes with Boozer (because the Lakers want picks). As Woj said, it’s not likely. Possible, but not likely.

The Bulls could just sign Gasol.

The Thunder tried to woo Gasol but he turned them down. Phil Jackson tried to woo Gasol but he lacks the financial offer of even the Spurs (who are somewhat limited). The Lakers offered him a contract (one still on the table until Hill and Young sign) but Gasol rejected it — he wants to play for a contender (the Lakers will be fortunate to even make the playoffs in the West next season).

What is likely is that Gasol, at 32, would help either the Spurs or Bulls. These are already teams that are at (in the case of the Spurs) or near (the Bulls, if healthy) the top of their conferences and would get much better with him.

Expect a deal to be announced soon.

  1. bostonian13 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:14 AM

    Gasol next to Duncan, playing with Parker and in Pops system?!? WOW

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:51 AM

      Now if this were the Heat during the LeBron era, it would have been a travesty. But he goes to the Spurs – and already loaded team – for way below his market value to chase rings, and all is good. Kind of hypocritical…where will all of that “built not bought” BS be?

      • bostonian13 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:02 AM

        Wrong, homeboy. I’m one of those guys who didn’t make excuses for the Heat and how they formed. They’re called “free agents” for a reason. Would’ve said the same had he went to Miami with Lebron still there, but just because he’d be paired with Lebron, not because of the system. Was it bought last season by the Spurs? Not at all, can’t knock them for going after one guy that the whole world knows thrive in that system.

      • fanofthegame79 - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:05 AM

        Then my comment wasn’t directed at you, homeboy. The Spurs are doing what the Heat did: their core took paycuts, and they sign vets for less than market value (which they can do because vets want to win rings). All I was saying was if this were the Heat last year, there would have been a thousand comments about how the NBA is rigged for the Heat. However, because it’s the Spurs, all is well. It’s societal hypocrisy (again, apparently not for you, which is good).

      • sumkat - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:04 AM

        Adding another sold role player around their home grown core has been their MO for a decade. Gasol, at this point in his career, is nothing like LeBron/Wade/Bosh when the joined up (although they may be about the same as Wade and Bosh NOW, which is probably why LeBron is leaving)

        Comparing the recently broken up Heat (definitely a great team, but completely top heavy), to the Spurs, the only team to ever win a title without a player averaging more than 30 minutes, simply because they add a diminished Gasol, is laughable

      • apkyletexas - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:16 AM

        Doesn’t make sense for Gasol or the Spurs anyway. Tiago Splitter is a solid starter with great defense and a huge plus minus rating, much better than anything Pau has put up since 2007. Gasol has no reason to take half the money and hates to come off the bench.

    • thethrill1111 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:55 AM

      As if it wasn’t already unfair to play them…

    • imakcds - Jul 12, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      inter-changeable parts. Their games are amazingly similar, both fundamentally sound and both have great footwork.

  2. cantonb0und13 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:26 AM

    I would like to see Gasol sign with Phoenix. Fun team to watch.

  3. philliesnuts - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    He posted on his twitter 8 hours ago that he was choosing between the Spurs or Bulls.

  4. antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:36 AM

    Gasol is 34, not 32.

    Could the Bulls land both Gasol and Melo or just one?

    • doctorbluff - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:28 AM

      I don’t think Chicago would have nearly enough cap room to sign both Carmelo and Gasol. Not if Melo wants anything near a max contract.

      Depends how much Gasol signs for, I suppose, but I think even with using the amnesty clause on Boozer, they’d only have something close to the midlevel exception left for Melo.

  5. sumkat - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    I’m really surprised no other dominos have fallen after LeBron agreeing with Cleveland. I really thought once he signed, things would go fast and furious, especially with Melo rumored to be headed back to NY, I would think the other teams would go hard at the remainders to not be left out in the cold. The only thing I can think is that, at least privately, Melo has told Chi/Houston they are not out of it yet.

    Bosh will be interesting, I know he love his role in Miami. But, A, his role would have to change drastically with LeBron gone, and B, that’s not a title team with just him and Wade, and they’ll find it tough to add another star if those 2 are getting the max

    But either way, Lin to LA as the only shoe to drop in the last 36 hours seems odd

    • casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:09 AM

      Carmelo probably is legitimately still undecided, so that’s still freezing up the plans for two teams.

      Also, I wouldn’t rule out the Heat or Rockets making one last desperate push for Carmelo at this point. He’s probably freezing up the market some since the losers in the Carmelo chase will have plenty of cap room to throw at other players.

      • 1historian - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:10 AM

        Carmelo’s inability to make up his mind is not helping him at all – it indicate he’s too immature to make up his mind and that means he’s not the kind of guy you count on when the pressure is on, and IMO that’s the kind of player the Bulls need. Gasol has been there done that and even if he’s 34 he’s more desirable.

    • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:40 AM

      It probably would have been fast and furious, but what I think happened was that teams/free agents were planning for either LBJ-BOSH to MIA or LBJ to CLE, BOSH to HOU…. who thought Bosh was going to stay in Miami if LeBron left? Nobody. So there weren’t many solid plans for that, perhaps.

  6. antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:02 AM

    Woj just tweeted that Gasol is working to complete deal with CHI. That guy should just start his own thing now… dump Yahoo. Who goes to Yahoo anyway? I only go there to read him.

    • 00maltliquor - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:47 AM

      Yahoo’s not bad. It’s actually where PB T gets a good amount of it’s stories/breaking news from.

  7. casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    Adrian Wojnarowski ‏@WojYahooNBA 12m

    Pau Gasol, Chicago working to complete an agreement, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:06 AM

      The Bulls could still be in the Carmelo chase, but it depends on how much of a paycut Gasol takes.

      The paycut would have to be pretty severe to keep Carmelo in play.

  8. itmgrindmachines - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:18 AM

    Spurs with or without Gasol will do just fine next season (without major injuries). Just as long Gasol ends up in the East it doesn’t really matter..

    • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:30 AM

      Really dodging a bullet by him not going to Oklahoma. The Thunder are hard enough to beat as it is. OKC needs to send KD and Ibaka over to Hakeem ASAP.

  9. parasolmonster - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:24 AM

    Gut tells me this means the Bulls are convinced Melo isn’t leaving NY.

  10. ranfan12 - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:02 AM

    i’m unsurprised at this after hearing he turned down a 20mil deal to stay in la.

  11. rogerrodgers - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:02 AM

    And how is he even remotely helpful?

    • ranfan12 - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:59 AM

      better post up than noah and boozer, can feed the ball out, will likely be in the lineup with noah playing at center, a role which he is accustomed to from his days winning a rings with bynum at center, and can switch to center to get noah some rest and bring in a different pf, i mean it goes on and on lol

      • therealhtj - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:04 AM

        When Pau won rings in LA, Bynum hobbled through 10-12 uneventful minutes per game. Gasol was still young and energized from the humiliating loss to Boston and played like a top 10 player.

        Since the CP3 fiasco, which in hindsight is an even more lopsided deal than it appeared at the time, he’s said all the right things, but he’s pretty much mailed it in. The numbers he put up last year on the worst Lakers team in history were hardly an indication of their impact.

        Yes, he still has something to offer in terms of low post scoring, but that’s hardly telling the entire story. He’s in definite decline, he’ll miss 20-30 games due to various nagging injuries, and his team defense is non existent today.

        Does he represent an upgrade over Boozer? Sure, a slight one on the surface. Unless he finds the fountain of youth, it’ll still be Gibson out there closing out games.

    • ranfan12 - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:39 AM

      energizer bunny

  12. pistolpete0903 - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:22 AM

    Suddenly, the Midwest division looks like a heavyweight fight.
    Gotta feel for the Bucks and Detroit.

  13. chiadam - Jul 12, 2014 at 8:29 AM

    He’s 34 and tends to get injured. This is not impressive, but it seems to be what the Bulls do. They whif on the big fish, panic, and find the best option from the lower tier of free agents. It happened in 2000, 2010, and now in 2014.

  14. ptownbearsfan420 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:27 AM

    Welcome to the Windy City big guy. (Essentially) Great addition!!

  15. lazegowizfan95 - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:40 AM

    Still won’t beat my squad the Wizards but no lie Wizards haven’t really improved this off season so far I think we need more scoring a consistent third scorer that could give us 15-18 a game. It seems like no one Is even mentioning Wizards as contenders in the east we used to it though #Underdogs.

    • chiadam - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:44 AM

      Everyone forgets that the Bulls are also “adding” a former MVP. It’s easy to beat up on a team that’s missing their best player. Add Rose, Gasol, Mirotic, and even McDermott and the Bulls won’t be losing in 5 to the Wiz.

      • therealhtj - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:23 PM

        McDermott will be playing in Europe in 3 seasons. Voted most likely to not get his option picked up by NBA GM’s.

    • louderthanwords1 - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:41 PM

      It’s not just that the Wizards haven’t improved it’s about who they may lose. Neither Ariza or Booker (Unless I missed something about Booker) have been re-signed yet.

  16. lazegowizfan95 - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:36 AM

    I hope we play again it would be very interesting every matchup will be fun to watch Wall and Rose Beal and Butler Mcbuckets and Ariza Nene and Paul Noah and Gortat can’t wait

  17. ratedgap - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:40 AM

    You’re not much a “fanofthegame” with that comment. The spurs three didn’t take paycuts this year to help the team and add someone. They’ve always taken paycuts to stay together and help the team. It’s in no way similar to anything Miami did or would have done. Go look at Duncan’s prior free agent contract, when he took a look at Orlando. Or manu’s. Or Tony’s. It’s always been below what they could have gotten in a max. Learn more about the game please.

  18. harshedmellow - Jul 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    Gasol in San Anton would have been scary, especially if he drank from the fountain of youth that Duncan has discovered, which I hear is primarily diet-based.

    In Chitown the fit is a little more nebulous; they are a mystery wrapped in an enigma until we see who Rose really is nowadays. If he can be remotely like his MVP year- look out league! But that is far, far from a given… that kind of unconscious speed is exactly what goes away when you are worried your body might break, and he has two good reasons to have that worry.

    Melo is the fascinating part here. You KNOW he’s in agony, having doors slam shut everywhere, in essence making his choice for him. Dude snoozed & losed.

  19. pooskay - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    CHI has too many white players in its front court. I’d wheel and deal one of them.

  20. mutasian - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    kobe’s contract really puts a leash on the lakers. but he deserves to be rewarded. let him finish the contract while they rebuild. some may hate kobe for it. but they really shouldn’t. he gave the team a lot for a very long time.

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