Nov 6, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Pacers shooting guard Lance Stephenson (1) reacts after a play during the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. The Pacers won 97-80. Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Bulls rumors: Turning their attention to Lance Stephenson, Pau Gasol?

New York Knicks’ forward Carmelo Anthony looks like he will be re-signing with the Knicks but the Chicago Bulls are legitimate contenders to land him.

Anthony, who put up 27.4 points, 8.1 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game and shot 45.2% from the field, 40.2% from beyond the arc and 84.8% from the free throw line last season, has a lot of interest in the Bulls and the Knicks, but also has very real interest in the Los Angeles Lakers. 

Joel Brigham of Basketball Insiders believes the Indiana Pacers’ guard Lance Stephenson and Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol could be a backup plan for the Bulls if they don’t land Anthony.

As to who, exactly, the Bulls would purchase with that cap space remains to be seen. Chicago has been linked to a ton of different free agents, so nailing down a few specifics could prove to be challenging. The most notable, however, has been big man Pau Gasol, with whom Bulls’ brass and Joakim Noah met earlier this week. Gasol could join any of a number of teams, depending on how much money he’s willing to accept, but the Bulls have reportedly offered him a starting role and will have enough cap space to offer him something reasonable.

Some have mentioned Lance Stephenson as a possibility, but he really doesn’t fit the Bulls’ locker room culture, and his volatile demeanor and occasional on-court immaturity are hard to see working under Tom Thibodeau.

Of course, if the Bulls could find a way to land both, which is virtually impossible without a sign-and-trade, it could work out even better than they expected.

Stephenson averaged 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists per game this season while shooting 49.1% from the field, 35.2% from beyond the arc and 71.1% from the charity stripe in the regular season. In the postseason, he put up 13.6 points, 6.9 rebounds and 4.2 assists per game. He shot 45.5% from the field, 35.8% from downtown and 71.4% from the free throw line.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony Chicago Bulls Lance Stephenson NBA Free Agency Pau Gasol

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