Following LeBron James' announcement that he would make a Cleveland homecoming Friday, NBA free-agent decisions have started to increase and after weeks of speculation, the Bulls are closing in one of their top targets.
The organization is "working on" acquiring Lakers veteran big man Pau Gasol, as first reported by Yahoo! Sports, perhaps signaling an end to their pursuit of superstar small forward Carmelo Anthony.
While the parameters are still not finalized, it should be noted that Gasol reportedly rejected a two-year, $20-million offer to remain in Los Angeles and it's widely believed that the Lakers aren't interested in taking back Bulls power forward Carlos Boozer in a sign-and-trade scenario.
Gasol has been a long-rumored target of the Bulls and if he were to come to Chicago, the team would have excellent depth in the post, with All-Star center Joakim Noah, Sixth Man of the Year runner-up Taj Gibson and likely 2011 first-round draft pick Nikola Mirotic, Gasol's Spanish countryman.
The Bulls would still have perimeter needs to address in free agency and bringing back Kirk Hinrich is among their list of priorities, though an individual with knowledge of the situation cautions that the veteran floor general is unlikely to return for as low as the veteran's minimum.
Also, while there have been reports that the Bulls have expressed interest in Chicago native Dwyane Wade, a league source said that the All-Star shooting guard has little desire to return to his hometown.