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NBA Rumors: 5 Potential Third Teams That Could Help Chicago Bulls Land Pau Gasol

Tom FirmeAnalyst IISeptember 23, 2016

NBA Rumors: 5 Potential Third Teams That Could Help Chicago Bulls Land Pau Gasol

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    Pau Gasol seems like a likely candidate to be traded by the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason. Gasol has started to decline. Also, as noted by ESPNLA, Gasol and Kobe Bryant aren't getting along. The Chicago Bulls figure to be a strong candidate to acquire Gasol, according to Sam Smith of Bulls.com.

    Smith, a longtime Bulls beat writer and a wise observer of the trade rumor mill, makes a couple of strong points about this possibility. First, he points out that when Kobe Bryant was rumored to be traded to the Bulls, Bryant wanted to end up playing with Luol Deng if the trade were to happen.

    Second, Smith notes that the Bulls may have gone as far as they could with the current core group of Deng, Derrick Rose, Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah.

    To make a deal for Gasol, the Bulls would need some help from a third team, unless they package Boozer ($15 million due in 2012-13) and a player with a small salary. Since the Bulls and Lakers are well above the luxury tax threshold, neither team can more than take on 25 percent and $100,000 in a deal.

    While the Bulls could add Richard Hamilton's salary ($5 million) to a deal involving Deng or Boozer, the Lakers might demand someone who could contribute more than Hamilton.

    Following are a few teams that could assist the Bulls in making a deal for Gasol.

Washington Wizards

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    Lakers receive Luol Deng ($13.4 million)

    Bulls receive Pau Gasol ($19 million)

    Washington Wizards receive Richard Hamilton ($5 million)

    Even if the Lakers aren't interested in taking Hamilton, the Bulls could ship Hamilton's salary somewhere to complete the deal. One possible destination for Hamilton is Washington.

    While telling the Washington Post that the Wizards are looking to unload Rashard Lewis and Andray Blatche, Wizards general manager Ernie Grunfeld said the team wants to acquire veterans. Grunfeld said, "I think we found out, it's important to have veterans."

    Hamilton is the type of veteran the Wizards would surely like to add to help young players like John Wall and Jordan Crawford. Hamilton was a key player on the Pistons teams that regularly went at least to the conference finals six straight years. He's a poised, fundamentally keen player who can guide the Wizards' young, talented players.

    The Wizards can take on Hamilton's salary without worry because they're currently $12 million below the luxury tax threshold.

    The Bulls would trade away $18.4 million, $600,000 less than Gasol's salary.

Dallas Mavericks

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    Los Angeles Lakers receive Carlos Boozer and Lamar Odom (total $23.2 million)

    Chicago Bulls receive Pau Gasol ($19 million)

    Dallas Mavericks receive Kyle Korver ($5 million)

    Lamar Odom's season with the Mavericks wasn't a happy one. Odom's game was way off, as he shot 35.2 percent from the field and 25.2 percent from three-point range.

    That sad year will likely be Odom's only year in Dallas. The Mavericks are looking to deal Odom by June 29, according to ESPNNew York.

    One suitor could be the Lakers. According to NBA.com, Kobe Bryant will be working hard in the offseason to get Lamar Odom to return to the team.

    That could be a possibility in a deal with Gasol going to the Bulls. In a deal where Boozer goes to the Lakers, Odom could go to L.A.

    To complete the deal, the Bulls could send Kyle Korver to the Mavericks. Korver would add the outside shooting that Dallas was missing this season. Korver, a career 41.3 percent three-point shooter, could help a Mavericks team that was 19th in three-point shooting at 33.9 percent.

    The Lakers would take in $23.2 million, 122 percent more than Gasol's salary.

Boston Celtics

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    Los Angeles Lakers receive Luol Deng ($13.4 million)

    Chicago Bulls receive Pau Gasol ($19 million)

    Boston Celtics receive Ronnie Brewer ($4.4 million)

    The Bulls could also swing Brewer to the Celtics to complete the trade. The Celtics seem likely to be entering a rebuilding period. The Big Three appear to be set to break up after their season concludes. The Celtics will enter the offseason with just $32.1 million committed for the 2012-13 season to six players.

    Boston looks to have little for the next phase of the franchise with only three of those players having played at least 20 minutes per game this season.

    Brewer would be a nice shooter for the Celtics to add for their transitional phase. Brewer is a career 50.1 percent field-goal shooter. He had a down year this season, shooting just 42.7 percent from the field. Nevertheless, at age 27, Brewer is bound to bounce back.

    The Bulls would end up giving up $17.8 million, $1.2 million less than Gasol's salary.

Brooklyn Nets

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    Los Angeles Lakers receive Luol Deng ($13.4 million)

    Chicago Bulls receive Pau Gasol ($19 million)

    Brooklyn Nets receive C.J. Watson ($3.2 million)

    The Bulls will be looking for help at point guard for next season, no matter whether Derrick Rose plays at all. C.J. Watson likely won't be the solution for the Bulls. While Watson was helpful sometimes in place of Rose, he was underwhelming for the most part, shooting 36.8 percent in the regular season and 24.1 percent in the playoffs.

    With the Nets likely to lose Deron Williams in the offseason, they may want to get involved to ensure that they have at least something at point guard for next season. With what little they could have on their roster if Williams doesn't exercise his option, the Nets might not be able to attract an above-average point guard in free agency.

    Acquiring Watson would ensure that they have something reasonable at point guard.

    For the Bulls, this deal would see them giving away $16.6 million. Gasol's salary would be a reasonable 114 percent of what they would give away.

Orlando Magic

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    Los Angeles Lakers receive Luol Deng and Quentin Richardson ($16.1 million)

    Chicago Bulls receive Pau Gasol ($19 million)

    Orlando Magic receive Kyle Korver ($5 million)

    The Magic are sitting at a crossroads. Dwight Howard's future is up in the air. Also, according to Hoopsworld, Jameer Nelson is likely to opt out of the last year of his deal and test free agency. Also, the Magic carry a few players who are dead weight in terms of contracts and on-court contributions.

    In matching up salaries with the Lakers, the Bulls could provide some supplemental shooting to a Magic team that placed 22nd in field-goal percentage and 21st in scoring average this season. Kyle Korver would be a nice piece to help boost the shooting figure for the Magic.

    Meanwhile, the Magic could remove some dead weight from the backcourt by sending Quentin Richardson, a contract-year player, to the Lakers. The Lakers may look kindly upon receiving Richardson, since he showed this season that he can still hit three-pointers, knocking down a reasonable 34.7 percent from three-point range.

    The Bulls would end up giving away $18.4 million, only about $600,000 less than Gasol's contract.

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