With the NBA trade deadline coming to a close, the Chicago Bulls are among several teams looking to change the course of their franchise. The change that the Chicago Bulls might be closing in on is the completion of a trade sending out Pau Gasol.
A 27-25 record coming out of the NBA All-Star break is not how the Bulls envisioned things. In fact, they are closer to missing out of the playoffs than they are taking over the second spot in the Eastern Conference standings. So when the rumor mill keeps churning out the names of Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson, and Tony Snell as players whom the Bulls would part with, the smoke has now turned into fire.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Bulls have been active in fielding phone calls for several players. One of those players being discussed is all-star power forward Pau Gasol.
There have been teams calling about the availability of Pau Gasol, who is averaging 17 points, 10.9 rebounds, and two blocked shots a game. Unlike what most rumor mills have reported, it is not the Chicago Bulls, who is making the calls for Gasol, but teams who are interested in acquiring the 35-year-old big man in an effort to boost their playoff hopes.
The latest news that is swirling about is Pau Gasol and the possibility of him going to the Sacramento Kings.
Yahoo Sports is reporting that a proposed trade between the Chicago Bulls and Sacramento Kings involving Pau Gasol could be on the verge of happening. The deal, as explained by Adrian Worjnorawski, would have Gasol, along with Tony Snell, go to the Kings in exchange for guard Ben McLemore and center Kosta Koufos. One of the stipulations to consummating a deal would be for the Kings to lower the lottery protection placed on a first-round draft pick that would be owed to the Bulls.
The trade, if it happens, would give the Kings a versatile post presence in Pau Gasol while strengthening a late-season run to the playoffs. Sacramento is only 4.5 games out of the eighth seed in the Western Conference standings. The acquisition of Gasol gives the Kings a formidable lineup that would include DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay, and Rajon Rondo. On paper, the Kings would be a better team than the two they currently chase for the eighth seed.
It is already widely known that Pau Gasol will opt out of his final year in a three-year contract the Chicago Bulls gave him in the 2014-15 offseason. If the Kings are successful at getting Gasol, they are doing so under the impression that he can be a two-month rental. For a team that has not been to the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, adding Gasol is worth the risk.
The Chicago Bulls had high aspirations before the start of the season but have fallen on tough times. Some may view the possibility of trading Pau Gasol as a sign of the Bulls giving up on the season. Gasol has already expressed his desire to stay in Chicago, therefore, a scenario of getting a few assets while re-acquiring him is realistic.
Getting a player with Ben McLemore’s upside has to weigh heavily on the Bulls’ mind. McLemore can run the floor, shoot, and is a capable defender when he gets the playing time. He could have a similar effect on the Bulls as Jimmy Butler did a couple of seasons ago after forward Luol Deng was moved.
Kosta Koufos is an underrated player who can rebound and defend.
What happens with the Chicago Bulls remains to be seen. The rumor mill keeps churning out names. Fans of the Chicago Bulls will be glued to the Twitter and other outlets to see if something happens. The clock is ticking for the Chicago Bulls.
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