According to sources of ESPN's Marc Stein, chairman Jerry Reinsdorf was okay with heading into luxury tax territory if it meant bringing back a star like Gasol at the deadline.
One key reason it did not get done was because the Los Angeles Lakers had absolutely no interest in Carlos Boozer and the three years, $47 million remaining that he simply isn’t living up to.
Any deal involving Gasol starts with Boozer and the onus would be on Chicago to find a third party willing to take on the PF’s sizable contract.
Will the Bulls be able to land Howard or Gasol?
If GM Gar Forman can successfully work the phones leading up to the offseason, his squad would not be afraid to pull the trigger to shake things up and land Gasol this summer.
Forman might also be using his Rolodex to figure out a suitable trade with the Orlando Magic for DH12.
Stein’s sources found Chicago is still highly interested in trading for the reigning three-time Defensive Player of the Year and isn’t deterred by the fact that he just opted into his contract for the 2012-13 season.
If Chicago were able to pull off either of these moves, it would be significantly upgrading and would be instant favorites to win a championship. It also signifies it isn't completely satisfied with its roster and knows more could be done to compete with the Miami Heat for the Eastern Conference title.
Building a perennial Finals-contending team is an exhausting effort and every option must be explored. Even if Chicago were to win it all this year, it should still look into bringing aboard Howard or Gasol.
More firepower never hurts in this league, especially when the good teams keep getting better.