San Antonio Spurs understood to be in the running for the Spaniard too.
The Chicago Bulls are reportedly close to signing Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol after he revealed that he would be leaving the Staples Center.
According to Spanish newspapers Marca, the Bulls are close to a deal despite the lack of a sign-and-trade agreement with the Lakers.
It is understood that the Lakers are looking for a future draft pick as part of the compensation, similar to what they received in the trade to take Jeremy Lin from the Houston Rockets.
Meanwhile, there were initial reports that the San Antonio Spurs had emerged as a candidate for Gasol too, and if the Bulls are unable to find an agreement on a sign-and-trade deal, then the possibility of the Spaniard moving to San Antonio is still open.
That would arguably be the ideal move for the veteran, as he would be joining one of the favourites to win an NBA championship next season, and by sharing minutes with the likes of Tim Duncan, Thiago Splitter and Boris Diaw, it would only add to the formidable roster at coach Gregg Popovich’s disposal.
However, it appears as though the Bulls are the front-runners for the time being, and it is reported that they are prioritising their pursuit of Gasol over Anthony whom they believe will remain in New York despite speculation on Friday that he was still strongly considering Chicago.
Gasol is understood to have turned down two contract offers from the Lakers as he looks set to end a successful six-year spell with the franchise, and with Knicks team president Phil Jackson failing to move players to create sufficient cap space in order to play his former star alongside a re-signed Anthony, it appears as though Gasol only has two destinations in mind.
Should Anthony insist that he wants to move to Chicago then the situation could yet change and the Bulls may consider their options, but if they are able to get rid of Carlos Boozer’s contract and pair Gasol up with the likes of Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler, then the Eastern Conference giants are looking particularly strong ahead of next season.
However, all eyes will undoubtedly be on the Cleveland Cavaliers after their acquired LeBron James on Friday, and with Kyrie Irving, Andrew Wiggins and Tristan Thompson making up a talented roster, they have become the early favourites to win the NBA title next year.