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NBA Free Agency Rumors: Bulls and Pau Gasol 'nearing agreement'

consolation nation

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

[Update by your friendly BullsBlogger, 07/12/14 4:26 PM CDT: per Brian Windhorst of ESPN, the deal with Gasol will be a signing via cap space, and not a sign/trade.]

As rumored throughout much of Saturday, by one way or another Pau Gasol will be a Chicago Bull soon.

Adrian Wojnarowski with the details:

The Bulls and Lakers have been working on a sign-and-trade package to bring Gasol to the Bulls on a multiyear contract that starts at approximately $10 million a year, league sources told Yahoo Sports.

If a sign-and-trade doesn't come together, the Bulls will sign Gasol to a multiyear deal with a salary starting in the $6.5 million-a-year range, sources said.

Woj had tweeted earlier in the day that Mike Dunleavy wasn't 'expected' to be included in the outgoing salary to the Lakers, though that detail isn't in his most recent report here. Earlier, according to K.C. Johnson, it looked like the Bulls would be looking to package Dunleavy with their trio of non-guaranteed contracts to create enough outgoing salary for a trade, potentially even involving Houston as a third team. That Houston involvement has been refuted by Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle.

The details here do kind of matter. Losing Dunleavy, even with Doug McDermott seemingly drafted as his replacement, would create some on-court cost. It's possible that instead, Carlos Boozer will serve as the outgoing salary, though that would probably require real assets form the Bulls to get another team to swallow that expiring contract.

If the Bulls do wind up using cap space to sign Gasol outright, the $6.5m quoted figure would potentially leave a few million remaining to sign Nikola Mirotic. However it would mean they'd lose their over-the-cap exceptions (mid-level, bi-annual) for additional signings (or if Mirotic wanted that much to come over), leaving only the 'room' exception, a 2-year deal starting at ~$2.7m.

(in a real bit of fun cap minutiae, Mirotic cannot be signed with the room exception, as if he wants to be signed outside of the rookie scale his contract needs to be a 3-year deal at the minimum. Which is probably a good idea anyway since they have his Bird Rights after 3 years)