While Carmelo Anthony continues his free agency tour with stops in Dallas and Los Angeles, the Bulls are already making contingency plans. Bulls brass is flying out to L.A. to meet with free agent big man Pau Gasol, who Marc Stein reports has become Chicago's top target after Melo.
Almost as soon as word about the Bulls' visit with Gasol surfaced, Ramona Shelburne reported the Thunder after the frontrunners for the soon-to-be 34-year-old :
In a surprising twist, OKC has come on strong with Pau Gasol, and described as a "frontrunner" for the Spaniard.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2014
It remains to be seen if the Bulls view Gasol as a player they could pair with Anthony or as an option if they miss out on him. It all comes back to Gasol's value. Pau made over $19 million last season, but could realistically join a contender on the mid-level exception, a paycheck the Bulls could offer if Anthony is acquired via a sign-and-trade.
There is also the chance Gasol gets much more than that. He played only 60 games last season but was still very good when he was on the court.
Daily reminder that Pau put up 20, 11, 4, and 2 per 36 last season.— Brian Schroeder (@Cosmis) July 2, 2014
I'd like Gasol in addition to Anthony. I'm not sure if I would be all that excited with him as the big fish of the offseason. Before we all start freaking out about this being 2010 all over again, remember: things have changed since then.