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Now They're the Scapebulls?

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Feb 6, 2008 3:00PM

2008_02_sports_scapegoat.jpgSeems Chicagoist wasn't the only one who found the lopsided terms of the Pau Gasol trade a bit fishy. With outrage and confusion growing in Memphis, the Grizzlies owner pointed his finger firmly at ... the Bulls! Wha?!

Michael Heisley claimed that the Bulls unwillingness to pay the "luxury tax" on contracts over the salary cap forced him to take the Lakers' lowball offer:

In this league, if you're in a big-market area, you can afford to do those things. We negotiated as hard as we could for quality players, and [the Bulls] refused to give up anybody in their core group. What they offered were guys who play on the second and third team, so we turned them down.

And the Lakers were the only other option? With three weeks before the trading deadline, there were likely many teams who would have been interested in the services of a seven footer who can score in the post. Some league GMs claimed they had better offers to make, but calls to the Grizzlies' front office weren't returned. Others claimed that they'd have made new trade proposals had they known of Gasol's sudden drop in value. In fact,'s Chad Ford suggests that no fewer than ten teams were interested and could put together better packages Yet Memphis jumped at the Lakers' offer and blamed the Bulls for crippling their team.