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Gasol To Bulls Rumors Intensify

By Chuck Sudo in News on Feb 20, 2012 4:12PM

Could the Bulls be making a move to improve their inside game? According to Spanish language website Marca, that appears to be the case. Marca is reporting that Derrick Rose has privately let Bulls management know he would be happy if they sought a trade for Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol. NBA insider Chris Sheridan seconds the Marca report, citing an anonymous source.

The rumored trade would be Gasol for Carlos Boozer and another player, likely backup point guard CJ Watson. Boozer, signed last season to fill the Bulls' longstanding void at the four-spot, has three years and $46 million left on his deal. But Boozer's his lack of a consistent post game has been a concern and glaring defensive liabilities—the next time Boozer hustles to his defensive assignment will be his first—have seen him riding pine in the fourth quarter of games.

Gasol has two years and $38 million left on his contract, but has been the subject of trade rumors all season and hasn't played to the level he's capable of since last year's NBA playoffs. It's possible a change in scenery may life the funk from the Spaniard and have him playing at a level that helped the Lakers win NBA gold.

The reports of Rose lobbying for Gasol, however, don't jibe with his previous actions regarding campaigning for other prime free agents. Rose was notably on the sidelines during the LeBron James/Dwyane Wade/Chris Bosh sweepstakes two summers ago when those three players decided to form a supergroup in Miami. Given rose's personality, it seems out of place. Tribune Bulls beat reporter KC Johnson, while not disputing the Sheridan and Marca reports, said the same thing on WSCR-AM this morning. Bleacher Report's Michael Gibbons wondered why Rose isn't lobbying for the biggest trade bait out there: Orlando Magic Center Dwight Howard. Howard has made it clear he wants to play in either Los Angeles (Lakers or Clippers) or New York with the Nets. Gibbons speculates a three-way deal where Gasol lands in Chicago, Howard in LA and Boozer in Orlando can work under the terms of the NBA's salary cap structure. But would Orlando want an aging Boozer in exchange for Howard?