The Bulls face strong competition for (Pau) Gasol, who has drawn interest from the Knicks, Thunder, Spurs and Heat. The Lakers, who paid him $19.3 million last season, also want him back at a reduced salary.
The Bulls could outbid all of those suitors except perhaps the Lakers. They left their meeting with the impression Gasol’s decision wasn’t imminent.
A source said the Bulls would hope to engage the Lakers in sign-and-trade possibilities should they get a verbal commitment from Gasol. The Bulls would dangle the expiring $16.8 million contract of Carlos Boozer and likely would have to include sweeteners, possibly in the form of draft picks. Steve Nash has an expiring deal the Lakers have shopped in the past.