Pau Gasol Rumors: Chicago Bulls Confirm Gasol To Opt Out, Test Free Agency In NBA Offseason

Pau Gasol rumors were addressed by Chicago Bulls vice president John Paxson. The Bulls’ executive confirmed Gasol is opting out of his contract and will be testing free agency. A report from covered what the Bulls might try to do this summer as the team tries to recover from another disappointing NBA season. Missing the playoffs could mean that big changes are coming for the team, with many rumors suggesting that trades could be imminent.

As previously reported by the Inquisitr, the Bulls could look at trading shooting guard Jimmy Butler or point guard Derrick Rose in an effort to move in a different direction. The tandem hasn’t been able to elevate the team like the front office had hoped, possibly forcing a move to be made very soon. While Butler could be a hot commodity on the trade market, in part due to his long-term contract, Rose is heading into his final season under his current deal with the Bulls.

Pau Gasol also addressed the Chicago Bulls rumors about him leaving during the NBA offseason. Gasol spoke about not knowing what the future holds, alluding to the fact that he would be entertaining offers in free agency. While it isn’t a definitive statement about leaving Chicago, it certainly gives the impression that a return to the Bulls is no longer guaranteed. It could also be a bargaining tactic, designed to get more money in a new contract from the Bulls.

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. Stay with Bulls? I never (rule out) anything in life. I’ll think about my future in June, and when I’m able to receive offers in July, I’ll decide it.”

Pau Gasol Defense
[Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]
Until Gasol officially opts out of his contract with the Bulls, he has a player option of about $7.8 million for the 2016-17 NBA season. It is expected that Gasol can earn more than that in free agency following another All-Star season. His statistics ranked Gasol among the best big men in the NBA again. Over 72 games with the Bulls (all starts), Gasol averaged 16.5 points, 11 rebounds, 4.1 assists, and two blocks per game. It earned Gasol a sixth selection to the All-Star team and probably millions in a new contract.

One facet of the 2015-16 NBA season that has led to so many Chicago Bulls rumors is the apparent lack of chemistry the team has showed. Players don’t support each other during on-court situations and post-game press conferences don’t make it any better.

When Derrick Rose started talking about his preparation for the 2017 NBA offseason, it also drew more bad press to the franchise. It showed that the supposed leader of the franchise wasn’t focused on the current season. or even next season, but on his personal earnings.

The Bulls will have a lottery pick after missing the NBA Playoffs, but that draft selection could be at No. 14 if the team doesn’t get lucky in the NBA Draft Lottery drawing. It means the Bulls have a small chance to secure one of the top two picks in the draft, but that it is unlikely to fall in their favor. Stranger things have happened when the ping pong balls get drawn, though, so Bulls fans can still hold out hope of getting Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram.

Pau Gasol Passsing
[Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images]
The offseason has already begun for the Bulls, so there are going to be a lot of stories about what the team might do with its new head coach, pending free agents, and trade prospects. There is also going to be a lot of talk about which teams might try to lure Pau Gasol if he finally hits free agency again. Fans should expect many Chicago Bulls rumors and that the team might indeed try to rebuild from the ground up.

[Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images]