Right now the Chicago Bulls are a race car in third place that a lane just opened up for, and the race in this metaphor equates to the Eastern Conference playoff chase. Tom Thibodeau’s squad should be working intensely hard this summer, because LeBron James‘ decision has opened up a path to the Finals.
With Derrick Rose‘s looming return, there are already a lot of title hopes floating around in the Windy City. It should not be understated that replacing Carlos Boozer and his caveman grunts with Pau Gasol and his work ethic, passing, ball handling and low-post game would be a championship upgrade. They are working out the contract details and a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers is possible, but it appears this is going to happen.
The Bulls are also gauging the interest of Dwyane Wade in coming back home, but it seems like they are more focused on the Spaniard at this point. The shooting guard out of Marquette flirted with Chicago back in 2010, however in the end he teamed up with James and won himself a couple rings.
Gasol could be due for a breakout year, because he has been in a pretty awful coaching situation for the last few seasons. The power forward will clearly be missed by Kobe Bryant, who probably feels like a man on an island right now, and this move just shows that free agents want to find their way to the Eastern Conference.
The main reason the Spaniard would put the Bulls over the top in the East is because of his versatility as a player, but it is also important that he brings different skills to the table than Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson do.
If the Bulls can land Wade and Gasol, then they might even throw a parade in downtown Chicago.