This time, the Lakers might actually trade Pau Gasol.
With it becoming clear Gasol will not re-sign with the Lakers, the Lakers are currently in talks with the Chicago Bulls about facilitating a sign-and-trade, according to a league source familiar with the situation.
The Lakers are engaged in this scenario for two reasons. They want to facilitate the deal out of respect for Gasol, who guided the team to three NBA Finals appearances and two NBA championships after acquiring him from Memphis six years ago. Doing such a thing could help Gasol join a team of his choice. The Lakers are also interested in filling out their roster with more talent and assets, such as draft picks, both to expedite their rebuilding and offset their losses from Gasol’s departure.
For salary cap purposes, the Lakers cannot sign off on any of the dealings involving Jeremy Lin, Nick Young and Jordan Hill until the sign-and-trade is complete.
ESPN and The Chicago Tribune have also reported about the Bulls’ efforts in completing a sign-and-trade with the Lakers. The Tribune’s report mentioned the Bulls have discussed sending Mike Dunleavy and the non-guaranteed contracts of Mike James, Lou Amundsen and Ronnie Brewer to the Lakers.
It is not immediately clear what would prompt the Lakers to agree to a deal. But in general terms, the Lakers would want a talented player that does not compromise their cap space beginning in the 2015 offseason. The contracts to Dunleavy ($3.3 million), James ($1.44 million), Amundson ($1.3 million) and Brewer ($1.3 million) all expire after next season.
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