March 4, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers power forward Pau Gasol (16) reacts during the game against the Miami Heat at the Staples Center. Lakers won 93-83. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
The latest team that wants him? The Chicago Bulls, who are stepping up their efforts. Now, before everyone panics and curses out Jim Buss, no, the Lakers are not interested in dealing Gasol for Carlos Boozer. It would be a lopsided trade that Chicago would win hands down.
So the Bulls would have to recruit at least one more team to the discussions to have any shot at Gasol, sources said, with the Lakers known to be insistent on getting back at least one certifiable star if they consent to the trade the Spaniard. Sources say that the Lakers, furthermore, continue to talk to other teams about Gasol in advance.
It should be obvious why the Bulls want Gasol. He gives Chicago that second punch on offense they've sorely lacked. Gasol isn't anyone's idea of a lockdown defender, but paired up with players like Luol Deng, Taj Gibson and Joakim Noah, it'll hardly matter. Chicago becomes an instant title contender if they land Gasol and don't give too much up in the deal.
However, they need someone else to jump in on the deal, because the Lakers aren't likely to do this deal as currently constituted.