Jul 14, 2014, 1:15 AM EST
This is a good deal for Chicago. They might easily have been paying much more for the same player.
Free-agent forward Pau Gasol is finalizing a three-year, $22 million-plus contract with the Chicago Bulls, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Gasol, 34, will hold a player option on the third year of the deal, sources told Yahoo Sports.
The contract details make clear Gasol’s desire to be part of a winning team again, because he turned down a two-year, $22 million contract to stay with the Los Angeles Lakers, sources said.
To make this deal (and to bring over Nikola Mirotic over) the Bulls are going to have to amnesty Carlos Boozer. Which has been expected. The Bulls and Lakers had talked about a sign-and-trade to make this deal work but nothing could be put together that satisfied both sides.
Chicago now has a stacked front line with Gasol and Joakim Noah likely starting and Taj Gibson and Mirotic coming off the bench. Mix in rookie Doug McDermott and you’ve got a lot of big men who can shoot now, which should help open up driving lanes for Derrick Rose.
A lot of Bulls fans had their sights set on Carmelo Anthony, who chose to stay in New York. Gasol is not as dynamic as ‘Melo offensively but this is still an good fit. The Lakers don’t have their last two rings without Gasol. He can serve well as the fulcrum of the offense from the elbow, plus he is still very skilled from the post. He’s a gifted passer and has a midrange jumper. His game slipped some the last year, part of that is him getting older but most of it was how he was misused by Mike D’Antoni in his system. Bottom line is he’s an upgrade in Chicago.
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