In a move that was first reported on Saturday morning, free agent Pau Gasol announced on Saturday afternoon that he will be signing with Chicago Bulls.
It hasn’t been easy. After meditating it a lot I’ve chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 12, 2014
The Bulls will be signing Gasol outright as opposed to working out a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Bulls and Lakers spent most of Saturday trying to finalize a sign-and-trade even including the Houston Rockets in discussions at one point, but in the end, the sides were unable to come to an agreement.
Meaning, Gasol will now be a direct cap-hit for the Bulls.
Reports throughout the day on Saturday indicated that Gasol would sign with the Bulls for $6.5 million per season if not acquired in a sign-and-trade. Operating under that belief, the Bulls have around $7 million left to spend this summer. The expectation is that the $7 million will be spent on Nikola Mirotic as well as re-signing Kirk Hinrich.
The signing of Gasol also confirms that the Bulls will amnesty Carlos Boozer this week.
While Boozer is on the brain, no, Gasol is in no way comparable to Boozer. The Bulls’ signing of Gasol this summer is significantly better than their signing of Boozer in 2010.
Gasol immediately becomes the second scoring option on the Bulls behind Derrick Rose. Gasol is also among the top-5 passing forwards/centers in the NBA. Gasol’s offensive ability figures to fit in perfectly with the styles of Rose and Joakim Noah. Defense is the area in which Gasol is lacking, however, the former Laker is a better defender than Boozer.
Gasol will be the starting power forward for the Bulls this season with Taj Gibson coming off the bench as the team’s sixth man.