Let’s be clear; Pau Gasol has been one of the most consistent big men to play the game over his 12-year career. The Spaniard has averaged over 18 points and nine rebounds over his time in the NBA, one of only 34 players in NBA history to do so (20 of those players are part of the NBA Hall of Fame). And even with being hampered over the past two seasons in Los Angeles due to injury and multiple coaching changes, Gasol is still a productive player in this league.
However, that would not be the case in Chicago.
Gasol, although longer and a much better passer, brings a very similar skill arsenal to the game as Carlos Boozer: a versatile big man on the offensive end but somewhat of a liability on defense. As we saw the fourth quarter benchings of Boozer this season, defense and consistency are of great importance to coach Tom Thibodeau and his system.
More importantly, if the Chicago Bulls were to bring in Gasol, he would presumably be brought in to be the starter alongside Joakim Noah. However, Taj Gibson is the future alongside Noah, and the Bulls invested a lot of money in Gibson. Are they going to overpay again for a player who is only going to see the court for 25-30 minutes per game? Bulls fans sure hope not.
Honestly, the only reason I would even consider bringing in Gasol is to help Nikola Mirotic adjust to playing the European style of basketball in the NBA, assuming he joins the team next season.
The signing of Gasol would be a mistake for the Bulls. It’s merely a patchwork on a position that already has a potential solution on the roster in Gibson. Gasol is on the tail end of his career, but he can still be a productive player in system tailored towards his game. But with the offense potentially running through Noah and the return of Derrick Rose, Gasol just does not fit well with the Bulls systematically, and even more importantly, financially.