This really shouldn’t surprise any of you because, as far as I can remember, way back to the long, long ago, the Bulls have been linked to Pau Gasol. Be it via free agency, or a trade, the “Bulls interested in Pau Gasol” stories always seem to rise from he ashes like a phoenix that keeps killing itself just to come back again.
And that phoenix, it has risen once more.
From ESPN’s Marc Stein:
Now the question is what the plan is here. The Bulls just wined-and-dined Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday, and he’s the clear cut top option this summer as far as they’re concerned. They also made sure Taj Gibson was around on Tuesday to explain to Anthony that Gibson was very important to the plan of winning a title if Anthony comes to Chicago.
Basically saying “come as a free agent for way less money than you can get in New York so we can keep Taj and maybe win titles!”
Which, honestly, would be awesome if things worked out that way, I just don’t think they’re going to. So what if Pau Gasol is a Plan B of sorts, but not the “if we don’t get Carmelo we’ll sign Pau Gasol and everything will be all right” kind of Plan B.
Gasol could be the “we’re only getting Melo in a sign-and-trade, and we’re going to have to include Taj Gibson in that trade” Plan B.
So, long story short, the Bulls complete a sign-and-trade for Anthony that costs them Taj Gibson. They then sign Pau Gasol (mid-level exception?) to replace Taj Gibson. That gives the Bulls a starting lineup of Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler, Anthony, Gasol and Joakim Noah next season.
A theory that I think the Chicago Tribune kind of backs in this story about the Bulls flying to meet with Gasol.
The Bulls’ interest in Gasol had been previously reported by several outlets, including the Tribune. But the face-to-face meeting unexpectedly developed after the Bulls met with Carmelo Anthony on Tuesday.
This does not strike me as a coincidence.
Keep up to date with everything in Chicago sports by following The Chicago Homer on Twitter.