Bulls trade rumors still include Pau Gasol as the NBA trade deadline approaches. These Chicago Bulls trade rumors revolve around the team possibly looking to turn a page and turn over the roster at the same time. A report from ESPN on Wednesday, February 10, may contradict any Bulls rumors of the team parting ways with Gasol. Instead, it looks like the Bulls may want to offer Gasol a huge new contract to remain with the franchise.
ICYMI: @WindhorstESPN told us re-signing Pau is a #Bulls priority. And to a contract that could be worth worth 20mil a yr. He floored me.Paying $20 million per season for Pau Gasol certainly makes these Chicago Bulls rumors even more interesting than a trade. The Bulls already have about $72.5 million in guaranteed contracts for the 2016-17 NBA season, not including Joakim Noah. That does include a player option that Gasol has in his contract, and when he opts out, the team will be a bit under the NBA salary cap. If the Bulls intend to offer Gasol $20 million, though, re-signing Noah might become impossible.
— Silvy (@WaddleandSilvy) February 10, 2016
Many of the recent Chicago Bulls trade rumors have come up due to how much the team has been struggling lately. In the updated NBA standings, the Bulls are at just 27-25, putting the team seventh in the Eastern Conference. The Bulls are also just one game ahead of the ninth place Detroit Pistons (27-27) and at risk of missing the 2016 NBA Playoffs. This is why a trade involving Gasol has come up as the NBA trade deadline quickly approaches.
The trade deadline is on February 18, giving teams All-Star weekend and a few additional days to make deals. If the front office in Chicago wants to keep its core roster intact, they certainly have the capabilities to do just that. Offering Pau Gasol a huge contract extension could certainly convince him to stay in Chicago, but that might not be in the best interest of the franchise. Instead, the team might start taking more phone calls from other teams interested in acquiring the soon-to-be free agent.
A number of teams could offer a first-round pick in exchange for Gasol, showing just how much value the veteran still has at 35. In his second season with the Bulls, Gasol is averaging 17.0 points, 10.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists, and 2.0 blocks per game. Those are numbers that most NBA teams would love to acquire, but that the Bulls might not be able to succeed without. A 23-point loss to the Atlanta Hawks (at home) on Wednesday, February 10, might just shift the team into a different gear before the deadline.
There are going to be a lot of new Chicago Bulls trade rumors over the next week, especially with how close the team is to becoming eligible for the NBA Draft Lottery. Pulling in the sails and dealing players like Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, and Kirk Hinrich could net the team several picks for the 2016 NBA Draft. There had been chatter that the front office might even look at trading Derrick Rose, but his hefty contract and the lackluster stats to go along with it haven't created a lot of interest around the league.
One big question that the front office in Chicago will have to address is whether Pau Gasol will even want to sign a new contract with the team if they fail to either make the 2016 NBA Playoffs or get past the first round. The time may have arrived for the team to deal Gasol and bring back future assets before the NBA trade deadline hits on February 18. Until that day hits, fans should expect many more Chicago Bulls trade rumors, especially if a team offers a good pick for E'Twaun Moore or Taj Gibson.
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