Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol would like to play for the Chicago Bulls, Bulls.com’s Sam Smith reports. Smith cites “Lakers insiders” that tell him Gasol wants out of Los Angeles and would like to land in Chicago.
Gasol clashed with Lakers star Kobe Bryant and Lakers management this season, as he put up the worst statistical season of his 11-year NBA career. He finished the season averaging 17.4 points and 10.4 rebounds per game, but he only averaged 12 points on 44 percent shooting in the Lakers’ second-round playoff loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Keep in mind that the Lakers already traded Gasol once, before the 2011 season started, only to have the deal nixed by NBA commissioner David Stern. Gasol trade rumors also floated around near the trade deadline. That, plus his $19 million salary over the next two seasons, are prime reasons the Lakers want to move him.
The question is whether Chicago will get involved and whether the Bulls are prepared to significantly overhaul their roster after a first-round playoff exit at the hand of the Philadelphia 76ers. Smith ponders whether they would:
That, of course, would be if the Bulls decided to start anew and provide a new and different kind of cast to play with Rose. It’s maybe the biggest philosophical question to begin to consider these next few weeks.
Early last week, The Los Angeles Times reported that Gasol got few answers from Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak in his exit interview.
“I wish I could have clarification but they can’t give it to me right now,” Gasol told the paper. “I think management still has to talk to ownership to see what direction this thing will be going next year.”