The Chicago Bulls have looked like big players since the start of 2014 NBA Free Agency. Since the start, they’ve been connected to some of the biggest names on the market, including Carmelo Anthony and even Dwyane Wade. After not being able to land any of those guys, they targeted and now have signed veteran big man Pau Gasol.
The Gasol signing was agreed to on Saturday, though no terms of the deal have been released. There were talks that the Bulls could complete a sign-and-trade with the Los Angeles Lakers to attain Gasol, but those plans have apparently been scrapped and leave Chicago likely signing Gasol outright.
Gasol showed signs of breaking down over the past few seasons in Los Angeles, but there’s almost no debating that he’s still a valuable asset when healthy. For a team like the Bulls that need help in sparking their offense to match their elite defensive effort, Gasol could theoretically be the answer for them if he’s healthy. However, health isn’t the only concern for Chicago regarding the arrival of Gasol.
When the Bulls were in-pursuit of Anthony, one of the things that Chicago and Bulls fans were seemingly also looking forward to was the departure of Carlos Boozer and the increase in opportunity that would entail for Taj Gibson. By adding Gasol to the rotation with Gibson and Joakim Noah, that leaves someone out in the cold to a certain degree. Considering the value of Noah and the likely fact that Gasol won’t want to take a backseat, Gibson is the most likely candidate to be stuck in a lesser role.
While Gasol could very well work out well in Chicago, there’s the chance that his presence will only delay the future for the Bulls. For a team that entered the offseason with such high expectations, the mere possibility of that happening has to make this all seem like a bit of a failure on the part of the organization. Things could work out, but the present presents a much bleaker outlook for this team.