With the Chicago Bulls occupying the 9th place in the Western Conference, they may or may not be able to enter the playoffs this season. However, aside from playoffs concerns, there is also a looming player concern for the team as it is once again being speculated that Bulls star Center Pau Gasol will leave the franchise via free agency and probably together with Joakim Noah.
In the following article of Danny Leroux, it described the possible scenario of the Bulls losing two of their big men including Gasol, as both players could end up in the free agency market.
“Gasol made the All-Star team in both of his seasons with the Bulls, and he already was on a below-market value contract. He likely will decline that player option and join Noah in the free agency market.
Gasol and Noah’s free agency should force the front office, led by Gar Forman and John Paxson, to check its collection of returning big men. Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, and Bobby Portis all have the ability to give to a successful team but could struggle as three key parts of the same frontcourt rotation,” Leroux pointed out.
If the projection made would somehow be fulfilled, then separate rumor of Pau Gasol moving into the New York Knicks could happen, especially that Knicks president Phil Jackson and Gasol are relatively close, and Gasol is said to be one of Jackson’s favorites.
“Gasol is a culture, big-city guy, and money isn’t his primary concern, which bodes very well for the Knicks, according to a source. Though it’s not a clear position need with Robin Lopez and Kristaps Porzingis, the 2016 free-agent class is not deep, and Gasol represents one of Jackson’s all-time favorite players,” Marc Berman of New York Post suggested.
The idea of Gasol playing for the Knicks is somehow exciting. He can be the best mentor for another rising star and Knicks big man Kristaps Porzingis.
Since Gasol is still recuperating from his swollen right knee and still no sign of return, he can surely use this time off to think about his future in the league, especially that he is not getting any younger anymore.
This rumored departure of Gasol from the Bulls could positively impact the team. Having deep front line players including Taj Gibson, Nikola Mirotic, and Bobby Portis, the possible decision of both Gasol and Noah to leave the Bulls could help them[Bulls] give each players significant minutes.
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