Bulls’ pursuit of Pau Gasol tied up by Carmelo Anthony
BY JOE COWLEY Staff Reporter July 8, 2014 7:22PM
Los Angeles Lakers' Pau Gasol (16), of Spain, goes up for a shot against Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah (13), during the third quarter of an NBA basketball game in Chicago, Monday, Jan. 20, 2014. Chicago won 102-100, in overtime. (AP Photo/Paul Beaty)
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Updated: July 9, 2014 11:10AM
The patience of the Bulls’ front office continued to be tested Tuesday, with free agent Carmelo Anthony’s indecision still seemingly keeping them from pursuing a Plan B.
According to a source, the Bulls feel that if Anthony goes elsewhere, they are one of the leading candidates to land free-agent big man Pau Gasol — unless Anthony happens to choose the Los Angeles Lakers, which could start the dominos falling and convince Gasol to re-sign with the Lakers.
‘‘It’s frustrating for [the front office], but it’s free agency,’’ the source said.
That’s one way to describe it.
Besides the Bulls, Gasol was being targeted by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Miami Heat, the Lakers, the San Antonio Spurs and the New York Knicks. The Thunder and the Bulls were the teams that impressed Gasol the most, at least until Tuesday, when reports from a Monday meeting between Gasol and Thunder coach Scott Brooks resulted in the Thunder believing the money wouldn’t work.
Because of cap space, the Thunder are limited to offering around $5 million. The Bulls would have a bit more financial freedom for the 34-year-old Gasol, depending on negotiations with Nikola Mirotic, and could come closer to $7- to $9 million.
The Bulls met with Gasol in Los Angeles last Thursday, but his meetings and talks with All-Star center Joakim Noah impressed Gasol the most, the source said.
In joining the Bulls, Gasol would be walking in as a starter on a playoff-caliber team that plays an unselfish style he likes. He has expressed his desire to start wherever he goes. Bulls forward Taj Gibson has been focusing on moving from a Sixth Man of the Year Award second-place finisher to a starting job but has said he’ll do ‘‘whatever is best for the team.’’
The Bulls announced their Summer League roster, highlighted by first-round pick Doug McDermott and last year’s first-round draft choice, Tony Snell. Cameron Bairstow, selected in the second round in June, also will have a lot of eyes on him.
Former Illinois guard Brandon Paul also is on the roster.
Adrian Griffin will again be the acting head coach, with Andy Greer, Ed Pinckney, Mike Wilhelm and Coby Karl assisting.
The first game is Saturday against the Los Angeles Clippers at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Farewell to Fred
Longtime Bulls athletic trainer Fred Tedeschi left the organization, accepting a position at Oregon State.
Assistant trainer Jeff Tanaka will handle Tedeschi’s former duties during Summer League.