Members of the Bulls front office will fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with free agent center Pau Gasol, with Marc Stein of ESPN tweeting that Gasol is the Bulls' "top target" after Knicks free agent forward Carmelo Anthony.
Still, the Thunder are reportedly the favorites to land the four-time All-Star, as Ramona Shelburne of ESPN tweeted Oklahoma City is now seen as the "frontrunner" for the seven-footer. According to Stein, Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook pitched Gasol on Wednesday in Los Angeles on the idea of him signing with the Thunder this offseason.
Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak reportedly met with Gasol on Tuesday. Los Angeles remains the only team that will likely come close to offering him the $12 million per year he's seeking this offseason. The Knicks and Mavericks have also been mentioned in reports, but neither team could likely offer a lucrative contract.
Gasol, who won two championships with the Lakers, made $19 million in the final year of his deal with the Lakers last season while averaging 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds, 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks in 60 games.
Free agents can officially sign on July 10.
In a surprising twist, OKC has come on strong with Pau Gasol, and described as a "frontrunner" for the Spaniard.— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 2, 2014
ESPN has learned, meanwhile, that Bulls officials are headed to LA on Thursday for sitdown with their top target after Melo: Pau Gasol— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 2, 2014
ESPN has learned that Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made a come-to-OKC pitch directly to Pau Gasol today in Los Angeles— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2014