With the Chicago Bulls set to amnesty or trade the contract of Carlos Boozer over the summer, the team will be poised to have around $13 million extra to spend during the free agency period. There are many options the Bulls could go down, but one of those options shouldn’t be signing Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol.
On Wednesday, it was reported by the Los Angeles Times that Gasol is intrigued about playing with Bulls Derrick Rose and the possibility that they will sign Spanish player Nikola Mirotic. Playing alongside the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, Joakim Noah, undoubtedly intrigues the Spanish native Gasol.
However, Gasol will be 34 once the 2014-15 NBA season begins. And with Gasol still posting numbers of 17 points and nine rebounds, he’ll undoubtedly want a long multi-year deal before he finally retires. Gasol is still a serviceable big man who can play at a high level, but he wouldn’t be much of an upgrade over Boozer at this point in his career.
The knock on Boozer over the years has been his lack of defense during his time in Chicago. If the Bulls do sign Gasol, they should expect much of the same inept defense, if not worse from the aging Lakers center. Sure, Gasol averaged 1.5 blocks per game last season in Los Angeles, but he’s really not equipped to play 1-on-1 defense on a gritty Bulls team that expects hard work on both ends of the court.
Gasol would be better off staying with the Lakers, signing with the Memphis Grizzlies or even signing with the young Phoenix Suns. Anywhere would be a good fit for Gasol except Chicago. An older, banged up version of Boozer is the last thing the Bulls need.