HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Derrick Rose and Pau Gasol in the same uniform?
Apparently someone is trying to make it happen, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein, who is reporting that the Bulls are trying to find a way to land the Lakers’ power forward in advance of Thursday trade deadline.
It’s one of the more intriguing ideas to surface throughout this frenzied countdown to the trade deadline, a stretch of every season that is rife with rumors, speculation and flat-out lies.
The Bulls haven’t been mentioned previously with Gasol, but recent developments have placed them squarely in the middle of that conversation now, details courtesy of Stein:
The Bulls have long hoped to wedge themselves into the trade running for Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard, but sources told ESPN.com that Howard’s well-chronicled lack of interest in a trade to Chicago has prompted the Bulls to switch their focus to Gasol in advance of Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Sources say that the Lakers, however, have limited interest in the players Chicago would be offering, starting with Bulls forward Carlos Boozer.
So the Bulls would have to recruit at least one more team to the discussions to have any shot at Gasol, sources said, with the Lakers known to be insistent on getting back at least one certifiable star if they consent to trade the Spaniard.
Sources say that the Lakers, furthermore, are talking to other teams about Gasol in advance.
The Lakers’ longstanding preference, of course, is acquiring a top point guard if they agree to surrender Gasol. They included the 7-footer in the December deal with New Orleans and Houston that would have landed Chris Paul with the Lakers, only for NBA commissioner David Stern — acting as the final decision-maker for the league-owned Hornets — to tell New Orleans’ basketball people to cancel the deal after all three teams agreed to terms.
Gasol has been subjected to constant trade speculation ever since, and recently acknowledged to ESPN.com that “there’s no guarantees” he’ll be with the Lakers beyond the trade deadline, despite recent assurances from Lakers management that no deal was imminent.
Gasol would have no problem fitting in with a Bulls team that is all about defense and the strength of the unit overall as opposed to a sole focus on just one player (Rose gets tons of deserved attention, on and off the court, but they are not a one-man show). In fact, the way the Bulls operate would seem to be much more to the liking of Gasol, who has made clear his desire that the Lakers foster that same sort of environment.
But it’s like he said, there are no guarantees, and that goes for just about anyone and anything this close the trade deadline. But you can rest assured this won’t be the last trade rumor that Gasol is linked to. And it shouldn’t surprise you to see the Bulls mentioned with other prominent stars over the next couple of days.
Until that first domino falls, everyone is in play!