Pau Gasol, Bulls Close To Agreement

July 12 at 4:28pm CST By Cray Allred

4:28pm: Gasol is close to joining the Bulls, but it won’t be through a sign-and-trade, tweets Brian Windhorst of ESPN.

3:23pm: Dunleavy won’t be included in any sign-and-trade for Gasol, tweets Wojnarowski. Jonathan Feigen of the Houston Chronicle hears the Rockets’ most likely role in the suggested deal would be to take on expiring contracts (Twitter link).

3:04pm: The Lakers appear to be in line to get “one or two picks” in a sign-and-trade for Gasol, writes Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times (on Twitter), who adds that Houston might be involved in the deal in some fashion as well.

10:30am: The sign-and-trade discussions with the Lakers have involved sending Dunleavy and the non-guaranteed contracts of Mike James, Louis Amundson, and Ronnie Brewer to Los Angeles for Gasol, reports K.C. Johnson of The Chicago Tribune. The possibility remains that the Bulls could work out agreements to acquire both Gasol and Anthony, but appears increasingly slim, per Johnson.

10:24am: A deal should be complete today, tweets David Aldridge of NBA.com. The mechanics of the deal, along with the ultimate implications for Chicago’s pursuit of ‘Melo, are still unknown.

8:12am: Free agent Pau Gasol is working with the Bulls on completing an agreement, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link), confirming an earlier report from Spanish newspaper Marca.com. The deal would rely on the Lakers agreeing to a sign-and-trade with Chicago, and sources tell Marc Stein and Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com that Los Angeles is holding out for draft compensation to participate in such a deal. LA received a future first-round pick in Friday’s agreement to acquire Jeremy Lin, and the ESPN duo’s sources say the Lakers are looking for the same in exchange for paving Gasol’s path to Chicago.

If the Bulls can’t work out a sign-and-trade for Gasol’s services, the Spurs are still poised as front-runners to acquire the skilled big man, per Stein and Shelburne. The talks indicate that the Bulls have lost optimism of signing Carmelo Anthony, despite reports that they are the Knicks’ only competitor to land the New York free agent, and that the Lakers are resigned to losing Gasol after having several contract offers rejected by him. The Thunder and Knicks are both likely out of the running for Gasol, the ESPN scribes write.

The Bulls have been hoping to find a willing partner to take back the final year of Carlos Boozer‘s contract rather than amnesty him, and Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders has tweeted out his cap calculations that show a Gasol deal including Boozer is possible, albeit complicated (Twitter links). Pincus also identifies Mike Dunleavy‘s contract as a piece that would make the deal work.

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