It is being reported that the Lakers and Bulls are attempting to work out a sign-and-trade that would send the 33-year-old to Chicago on a contract with a base annual salary of $10 million. If both teams are unable to get a sign-and-trade completed, Gasol is expected to ink a deal that would pay him approximately $6.5 million a season.
The Bulls heightened their efforts to sign the four-time All-Star on Friday after it appeared that Carmelo Anthony was set to return to the New York Knicks on a max contract offer that is now said to be worth $122 million over the next five seasons. Los Angeles had offered Gasol two separate contracts of two-years, $22 million and three-years, $29 million, but the 13-year veteran declined both deals that have effectively ended any possibility of him returning to the team next season.
The Spaniard took to Twitter on Friday afternoon to state that he was close to making his decision:
I’m very close to deciding. Thank you all for your interest and support! #FreeAgency
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 11, 2014
Gasol had much success in his 6 1/2 seasons in Los Angeles that featured three straight Finals appearances (2008-2010), two NBA Titles (2009-2010), three All-Star game selections (2009-2011), two All-NBA Third Team selections (2009-2010), and one All-NBA Second Team selection (2011).
However, this past season was his most difficult campaign with the team as he dealt with multiple injuries that forced him to miss 22 games. Gasol was able to play through injuries and be a productive player as he averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per contest.
He was also able to set a handful of career milestones as he eclipsed the 16,000 career points mark, became the second-highest scoring European player in NBA history behind Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki by passing Detlef Schrempf, played in his 900th career regular season game of his career on March 13 against the Oklahoma City Thunder, and also became just the sixth player in NBA history to have 16,000 points, 8,000 rebounds, 2,900 assists and 1,400 blocks.
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