(CBS) As Carmelo Anthony continues his free agent tour, Plan B has appeared to emerge for the Bulls.
Bulls officials are traveling to Los Angeles today to meet with Gasol, according to multiple reports. Gasol also has serious interest from the Thunder, who he met with Wednesday in a sit-down that included stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook as recruiters, ESPN.com reported.
If the Bulls miss out on Anthony, they could still use the amnesty provision on Carlos Boozer to open up about $11 million in cap space. That would be the upper range that the 7-foot Gasol is trying to command after a 2013-’14 season with the Lakers in which he averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds and set career.
While Chicago already has a solid tandem down low in Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson, the chase for Gasol is a nod toward the team’s need for more finishers/playmakers. Even at 34, Gasol remains a wonderful offensive talent, with an array of back-to-the basket post moves, the ability to knock down the 17-footer and adept passing skills for a man of his size.
The Thunder only have about $5 million to work with in trying to lure Gasol, so that could play to the Bulls’ advantage. The Knicks, Mavericks, Warriors and Heat have also expressed interest in Gasol, per reports.
The Knicks can only offer around $3 million in the first year of a deal to Gasol, ESPN.com reported, and the Heat need to let their dealings with LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade play out first.