February 23, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) moves to the basket against Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins (46) during the second half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Free Agency Rumors: Chicago Bulls Stepping Up Pursuit Of Pau Gasol

With Carmelo Anthony expected to announce on Thursday that he is staying in New York, the Chicago Bulls are shifting their focus to Pau Gasol.

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls will try to engage the Los Angeles Lakers in a sign-and-trade deal for Gasol.

[Chicago Tribune]

Though the Bulls had yet to be told officially they’re out of the Anthony sweepstakes, the New York Daily News reported Anthony will make his Knicks’ announcement Thursday. That would intensify the Bulls’ pursuit of Gasol, and league sources indicated the Bulls hope to pursue sign-and-trade options with the Lakers for him involving Carlos Boozer‘s expiring salary.

The Bulls may have a hard time selling the Lakers on taking Boozer’s expiring contract. The Lakers already have cap-space so it is not like the team is in desperate need of money. With the Lakers entering the summer as a rebuilding team, it appears that Los Angeles would be more interested in future draft picks.

Gasol wouldn’t be a bad consolation prize for the Bulls. Gasol’s scoring ability in the low-post is something that the Bulls stand to benefit from. Gasol’s ball-handling ability also pairs nicely with Derrick Rose.

If the Bulls are successful in their pursuit of Gasol, then Taj Gibson would remain on the bench as the team’s sixth man.

Tags: Chicago Bulls NBA Free Agency Pau Gasol

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