Chicago Bulls Rumors 2016: Pau Gasol, Jimmy Butler Leaving This Summer?
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Will Pau Gasol bolt out of Chicago this summer? (Photo : Getty)
The Chicago Bulls could part ways with All-Stars Pau Gasol and Jimmy Butler this summer after a disappointing 2015-16 season — their first year under rookie head coach Fred Hoiberg.
Gasol, who signed with the Bulls before the 2014-15 season, is expected to become a free agent this summer, as he has already expressed desire to opt out of the final season of his three-year, $22.35 million contract with the Bulls.
Gasol moved to Chicago after several losing seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers in the hope of winning another title in the final years of his career. However, the Bulls have struggled all-season long and is set to miss the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 NBA season.
The 35-year-old center said that he is not yet thinking about his plans this summer, but the Spanish superstar did not hide his frustration over their poor showing this season, creating speculation that he will likely sign elsewhere in the offseason.
“I will evaluate what I need to when the time comes. But the way the team has responded to adversity and the way we finished up the season has not been so far great, and it’s been disappointing,” Gasol said via ESPN. “So at the end of the day, when the time comes, I will evaluate things. It’s hard to finish the season like this.”
Gasol, who is playing in his 15th season in the league, is expected to get significant offers this summer after averaging 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds on top of 2.0 blocks this season.
Meanwhile, Butler is also being linked to a possible move out of Chicago, especially after Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg confirmed that he had several run-ins with the All-Star guard this season.
According to KC Johnson of the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls will likely listen to all offers this summer, including possible deals for Butler, but will need significant assets in return to part ways with the 26-year-old guard.
Fox Sports named the Philadelphia 76ers, Los Angeles Lakers, Phoenix Suns, Orlando Magic and Boston Celtics as possible trade partners for the Bulls if they decide to part ways with Butler.
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