Bulls free agency rumors: Pau Gasol, Chandler Parsons backup plans for Chicago?

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Gasol has a visit planned with the Bulls, while Parsons could be an option if they strike out on Carmelo Anthony.

The Bulls' focus in free agency will obviously be on Carmelo Anthony, but they may need some backup options if things with Anthony go awry. Kevin Love would likely be the next target, however, it's unclear if the Wolves actually plan on trading their star power forward. Nikola Mirotic is sure to factor into the Bulls' plans somehow, especially in light of the recent reports about his situation, but that remains murky as well.

So other than those three, who are some of the other major players the Bulls may pursue? Two names that have come up in the past couple days are Pau Gasol and Chandler Parsons.

Gasol has seemingly been linked to the Bulls every season, and he had expressed interest about possibly joining the Bulls in early May. That interest appears to be real, as Gasol has a meeting set up with Chicago, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.

In addition to the Bulls, Gasol also has meetings set up with the Thunder and Warriors, and the Lakers may get one as well. ESPN's Marc Stein reported the Knicks also had interest in acquiring Gasol, but as of now, no meeting has been set up with New York. The 33-year-old has said he wants to play for a contender, and the Knicks and Lakers don't really fall into that category next season.

Gasol made over $19 million last season, and he's surely going to take a massive pay cut on his next contract. If the Bulls strike out on their main targets, they could have the chance of offering more than the Thunder and Warriors, although I'd be wary of paying an oft-injured Gasol big money. I truly wouldn't mind Gasol in a more limited role on an affordable deal if the Bulls whiff on the big fish, and his presence could be useful in terms of grooming Mirotic.

Then there's Parsons, who just became a restricted free agent after the Rockets declined the $964,750 option on his rookie contract. With Parsons hitting restricted free agency, the 25-year-old can expect a big pay day, and Yahoo! Sports' Marc Spears says the Bulls could get in on the bidding if they miss out on Anthony.

Parsons is a versatile player who can do a lot of things well. He averaged 16.6 points, 5.5 rebounds and 4.0 assists last season, all the while shooting 47.2 percent overall and 37.0 percent from three. He's not a great defender, but he has the tools to at least be pretty solid.

Parsons would be a nice get for the Bulls, but timing and price could be an issue. The Bulls won't want to make any moves on other major free agents until the Anthony situation is resolved, and by then, perhaps Parsons has already signed an offer sheet with somebody else. On the other hand, Parsons might wait for the Anthony situation to play out, because the Rockets could potentially nab Anthony and then match any offer sheet for Parsons.

As for the price, Parsons will likely get some lucrative offers, and it's debatable whether the Bulls want to invest a ton of money into another good, but not great player. It also must be factored in that it would take quite the offer for the Rockets to decline to match. So I'm thinking Parsons is quite the long shot for the Bulls.

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