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With unrestricted free-agent Carmelo Anthony seemingly taken with the idea of returning to the New York Knicks, teams are scrambling to form contingency plans.
For the Chicago Bulls, center Pau Gasol is plan B. According to a report from K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls thinktank is toying with the idea of working out a sign-and-trade for Gasol using the $16.8 million remaining on Carlos Boozer's deal.
The market for Gasol sorts into two phyla. One one hand, there's a group of contenders, namely the San Antonio Spurs, Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, who hope to sign Gasol to a deal using the mid-level exception worth around $5 million per year. On the other, there are the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls, who could conceivably carve out enough cap room to meet Gasol's reported demand for $10 million per season.
Working out a sign-and-trade with the Lakers would allow the Bulls to skirt the unsavory prospect of using the amnesty provision on Boozer to create the space needed to sign Gasol. In that scenario, the Bulls would need to foot most of the money remaining on Boozer's deal.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last season, while Boozer averaged 13.7 points and 8.3 rebounds. Both players are a shell of their former selves, but Gasol still remains a highly skilled two-way player while Boozer's game is mostly limited.
Feature photo courtesy of Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports