Apr 27, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Chicago Bulls small forward Mike Dunleavy (34) drives past Washington Wizards point guard John Wall (2) during the third quarter in game four of the first round of the 2014 NBA Playoffs at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Pau Gasol sign-and-trade: Mike Dunleavy not involved

Now that the league’s best player and top free agent, forward LeBron James, has decided to leave the Miami Heat in favor of a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the league’s second-best free agent, forward Carmelo Anthony, has decided to return the the New York Knicks.

Anthony was the number one target of the Bulls and with good reason. The Bulls struggle to score and Anthony is one of the game’s elite offensive player. Plus, the Bulls could mask Anthony’s deficiencies on defense. However, Anthony has decided to return to the Knicks on a five-year deal worth between $120 and $129 million. That has forced the Bulls to turn their attention to the next tier of free agents and they are focused on Los Angeles Lakers’ free agent big man Pau Gasol. In fact, the two are expected to reach a deal today.

The Bulls’ first choice is to figure out a sign-and-trade so they can pay Gasol more money but they may not be possible.

Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports reports Bulls’ forward Mike Dunleavy will not be involved in the deal.

Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game last season. He shot 48.0% from the field, 28.6% from beyond the arc and 73.6% from the free throw line.

Tags: Chicago Bulls Los Angeles Lakers NBA Free Agency Pau Gasol

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