Bulls trade rumors revolving around Pau Gasol have increased. These new Chicago Bulls trade rumors come from Yahoo! Sports in a report that states Pau Gasol is being “aggressively” shopped around the NBA. This is huge news, as it was recently reported that the Bulls were going to try to offer Gasol a huge pay raise during the NBA offseason. Instead, it now appears that Gasol’s days in Chicago could be numbered.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, there had been stories about the Chicago Bulls being prepared to offer Pau Gasol as much as $20 million a season to re-sign with the team. Gasol can opt out of his current contract at the end of the current NBA season, making him a free agent. Due to the personal success he has had with the Bulls, it has been expected that he would garner a huge payday. If the new reports are correct, that payday likely isn’t coming with the Bulls.
Regarding the latest Chicago Bulls trade rumors, a number of teams could offer a first-round pick in exchange for Gasol. 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 many playoff teams would like to see from a frontcourt player, especially if the goal is to make it deep into the postseason.
The Bulls already have about $72.5 million in guaranteed contracts for the 2016-17 NBA season, not including Joakim Noah. That might be why the team worries about having to overpay to get Gasol to come back for a new contract. It is very likely that he will make much more in free agency than the roughly $7.8 million he would be paid under his current contract. The question at that point will be about which teams might show interest in signing him, but those NBA rumors will come during the offseason.
The Bulls now have an opportunity to make a deal that could clear additional salary if the reports about trading Pau Gasol are correct. Several other veterans could be included in a deal, possibly moving Taj Gibson, Mike Dunleavy, and Nikola Mirotic in order to get further under the 2016-17 NBA salary cap. It’s still very unclear whether the front office in Chicago is pushing hard to improve for the 2016 NBA Playoffs, or if the team is finally going to pull in the sails for a rebuild.
Though Gasol is now 35-years-old, he has been a steady contributor his entire NBA career. Gasol just made the Eastern Conference All-Star team, where he got to spend part of the game guarding former LA Lakers teammate Kobe Bryant. This is where it could get interesting, as another former team (Memphis Grizzlies) could really use his size in the low post. Brother Marc Gasol, who is the starting center for the Grizzlies, may be out an extended amount of time, forcing the team to make a short-term move. Could the Gasol brothers reunite in Memphis?
The Chicago Bulls have until 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, February 18 to make a trade. It doesn’t give the team a lot of time to pull it off, but with the news that Pau Gasol is being aggressively shopped, it’s possible that a deal could come to terms very quickly. If the Bulls don’t ask for too much in return, it should be pretty easy to find suitors willing to negotiate until a deal is done. Until that point, though, there are going to be a lot of Bulls trade rumors linking the All-Star center to nearly every team in the league looking to improve.
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