Gasol announced that he had chosen the Bulls on his Twitter feed Saturday.
It hasn't been easy. After meditating it a lot I've chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career
- Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 12, 2014
Discussions between Chicago and the Los Angeles Lakers on a sign-and-trade deal for Gasol broke down, so the four-time All-Star will sign directly with the Bulls, sources told ESPN.com.
Chicago currently does not have salary-cap space, so it will have to make roster moves to free room to add Gasol.
If the Bulls are unable to work a last-minute trade of Carlos Boozer, it likely means they will have to release him via the amnesty provision and clear the forward's $16.8 million off their salary cap to make room for Gasol. The deadline for such a move is Wednesday.
Boozer then would be placed on waivers and teams with cap space could bid to pick up a portion of his contract. The team with the highest bid would get his services. With so many teams currently owning cap space, it is doubtful Boozer would pass through and become an unrestricted free agent.
The Bulls are also hoping to create additional cap space to sign 2011 first-round draft pick Nikola Mirotic, who reached a buyout agreement with his Spanish team last week with the intention of coming to the NBA. The 6-foot-10 power forward has been seen as an offseason priority for the Bulls as they look to bolster a strong front line that already includes Joakim Noah
The Spanish newspaper Marca first reported late Friday that the Bulls were closing in on a deal with Gasol despite the absence of a sign-and-trade agreement with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Sources close to the situation told Shelburne late Friday that a sign-and-trade arrangement had not been struck, with the Lakers still looking for draft compensation -- as they received in Friday's earlier trade with the Houston Rockets to take back the contract of Jeremy Lin -- as the primary return for Gasol.
ESPN.com reported earlier Friday that the Bulls and San Antonio Spurs had emerged as the two leading candidates to land Gasol, with San Antonio poised to land the Spaniard if the Bulls and Lakers could not finalize a sign-and-trade deal.
Sources told ESPN.com late Friday that the Bulls were prioritizing their pursuit of Gasol even ahead of their long-running efforts to sign Carmelo Anthony, fearing that Anthony is likely to stay with the New York Knicks.
Sources said the in-demand Bazemore -- pursued by the reigning champion San Antonio Spurs and several other teams -- will sign a two-year deal worth a guaranteed $4 million from the Hawks.
After playing sparingly in his first season and a half in the league, Bazemore emerged as a sleeper free agent following a solid finish to the 2013-14 campaign with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bazemore's representatives were also in contract discussions with the Lakers on Friday, but there was more urgency on Atlanta's end, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin.
"Just a timing thing," the source said. "(The Lakers) couldn't agree tonight ... Hawks needed it done."
Bazemore's representatives informed the Lakers of the delicate timing, but L.A. was not ready to move forward and finalize a deal, so Bazemore chose Atlanta.
Traded to L.A. in the deal that sent Steve Blake to Golden State, Bazemore averaged 13.1 points over the season's final 23 games with the Lakers, shooting 45.1 percent from the floor and 37.1 percent from 3-point range.
The Lakers still hadn't heard any official word from Anthony on Friday, according to a league source, when they pulled the trigger on a trade with the Houston Rockets to acquire Lin and Houston's 2015 first-round pick in exchange for cash considerations and the rights to an undisclosed player stashed overseas.
There's no denying that the last we saw of him on the court, Lin struggled. Lin shot just 21.7 percent on 3-pointers in Houston's first-round playoff loss to Portland and was particularly ineffective early in the series, scoring five points on 1-for-5 shooting in Game 2 and four points on 1-for-6 shooting in Game 4 as the Rockets fell behind 3-1 before eventually losing in six games.
But that rough series, combined with the Rockets' preference for Patrick Beverly at the point, ended up clouding the player that Lin really is today.
The fact is, he's a better player than when he was setting the world on fire during that streak with the Knicks. Lin may have averaged fewer points (12.5 compared to 14.6) and assists (4.1 compared to 6.2) last season than he did when he was in New York, but he's more efficient (35.8 percent from 3, up from 32.0 percent, while his attempts have gone from 2.1 to 3.2 per game), more reliable (82.3 percent from the foul line, up from 79.8) and also more in control (2.5 turnovers per game, down from 3.6).
At 6 feet 3, 200 pounds, Lin is a bigger point guard than most think, which perhaps has something to do with his durability. Lin played in 71 games last season and all 82 games the season before that. Having a stable point guard would certainly be a welcome addition for the Lakers after Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Jordan Farmar all missed so many games because of injuries in the last two seasons.
"Unfortunately, Lamar was unable to uphold the standards to return as an NBA player," Jackson said in a statement. "We found it necessary to free up the roster spot."
The Knicks also re-signed center Cole Aldrich on Friday night.
Odom's release is the latest setback in the 6-foot-10 forward's career. The Knicks signed Odom on April 16 -- the final day of the regular season -- to a two-year contract, with the second year nonguaranteed.
This gave the Knicks the opportunity to monitor Odom over the summer and decide whether he deserved a roster spot. Clearly, Jackson, who coached Odom for five seasons in Los Angeles, wasn't satisfied with Odom's approach during the trial period.
Odom's last stint in the NBA was in 2012-13 with the Los Angeles Clippers.
The Clippers and Lakers had expressed interest in signing Odom at various points of the 2013-14 season after a tumultuous summer off the floor that included his eventual divorce from reality TV star Khloe Kardashian.
During the 2013 offseason, Odom was arrested on a DUI charge and reportedly dealt with substance-abuse issues.
Aldrich was with the Knicks last season, averaging 2.0 points and 2.8 rebounds in 46 games.
Sources told ESPN.com that Gasol is giving strong consideration to signing with defending champion San Antonio -- despite the Spurs' limited financial resources with such a deep roster -- in the event that the Bulls can't strike a sign-and-trade arrangement with the Lakers for Gasol.
The Bulls are making Carlos Boozer widely available in trade discussions, but sources say the Lakers have shown a reluctance in talks with Chicago to take on Boozer's contract unless they also receive a young asset back from the Bulls as well.
Oklahoma City has been pursuing Gasol as hard as anyone, but sources indicated Friday that the Spurs have joined the Bulls ahead of the Thunder in Gasol's pecking order.
The Thunder have a $6.5 million trade exception that expires Friday night at 11:59 p.m., that they hoped to use in their own sign-and-trade with L.A.
The Lakers, meanwhile, appear resigned to seeing Gasol exit after successful six seasons together. Prior to Friday, the Lakers offered Gasol two deals: two years worth $23 million, and three years worth $29 million, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin. Gasol turned down both offers, according to the source.
Young's deal is for four years, with the fourth year being a player option, agent Mark Bartelstein confirmed. According to a source, the deal is worth $21.5 million.
The Lakers also have re-signed forward Jordan Hill to a two-year deal worth $18 million, a league source confirmed to ESPNLosAngeles.com. The Lakers hold a team option for the second year, the source said.
Young took to Twitter to thank Lakers fans.
- Nick Young (@NickSwagyPYoung) July 11, 2014
Young opted out of his contract with the Lakers in June. The 6-foot-6 guard is coming off a career year last season, when he averaged a team-high 17.9 points for a Lakers team that finished 27-55.
"I always wanted to be a Laker, and it will be a dream come true to still be here, but it's crazy," the seven-year veteran said in April. "You never know what happens. Last year they had a whole different team. It's obvious they're going to make some changes."
A Los Angeles native, Young played at USC. After opting out in June, a league source said Young wanted to be made "a priority" by the Lakers over the summer in order to stay.
Lin could have the chance to put up big numbers in L.A.
The Lakers were amenable to this deal, according to sources, because Lin is only under contract for one more season, thus preserving their cap space next summer. They also covet draft picks, after trading away their first-round picks in 2015 and 2017 to Phoenix and Orlando as part of the Steve Nash and Dwight Howard trades, respectively.
Lin, in the midst of a basketball tour in Asia, will fly from China to Los Angeles, arriving on Saturday to undergo a team physical with the Lakers to make the trade official.
The Lakers had been eyeing Lin for quite some time, according to Lin's agent, Roger Montgomery, after the undrafted guard out of Harvard made his impressive summer league debut in 2010.
"They had interest a few years ago when he was in the summer league and signed with Golden State," Montgomery told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Dave McMenamin on Friday. "The Lakers were one of three teams that we were talking with, so they did have interest then. If you've been following the NBA, you know it's a very fluid league, so Jeremy is still playing, he's played well throughout his tenure thus far and I think that the Lakers, just like a lot of other teams, have interest and have had interest."
Lin will become the fourth point guard on the Lakers' roster along with Steve Nash
Sources say the deal is imminent. The Lakers will also acquire a future first-round pick from Houston, a league source told ESPN's Jeff Goodman.
The Lakers would make sense as destination for Lin, as the team has the cap space to take on Lin's expiring contract without cutting into any of their 2015 cap space.
The Rockets have made a maximum offer to center Chris Bosh of four years, $88 million, according to sources.
A source told ESPN.com on Friday that the Rockets expect Bosh to commit "soon" to joining Houston after Miami Heat teammate LeBron James told SI.com on Friday that he was leaving to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Knicks president Phil Jackson said Thursday that he hadn't heard from Anthony in recent days but remained confident the All-Star forward would re-sign with the Knicks. Jackson said the Knicks have made five different contract offers to Anthony, one of which is believed to be a maximum deal of $129 million over five years.
Knicks coach Derek Fisher seems to be on the same page as Jackson.
"I haven't heard anything different than that," Fisher said Friday after the Knicks started Las Vegas Summer League play with a 76-64 victory over the Dallas Mavericks. "We talked all this week about the fact that it's not our decision."
The first-time coach stressed that point.
"Decisions as free agents are never as easy as they seem," he said. "A lot of focus is on the contract size or the amount of money and the years, but oftentimes, guys are thinking on a much larger level.
"It's not just about basketball. Guys have wives, families, kids. Moving is tough."
The Bulls can offer Anthony a contract starting at approximately $17 million. That number can increase if the Bulls acquire Anthony in a sign-and-trade.
However, sources told ESPN.com's Marc Stein late Friday that the Bulls were prioritizing their pursuit of free agent forward Pau Gasol