As I [and most of the rest of the world] have reported for quite some time, Dwight Howard is not interested in joining the Chicago Bulls. The Bulls would like to make a deal for him but are unwilling to do so without assurances he'll stay past this season. Mark Stein says the Bulls are looking to swap Carlos Boozer for Pau Gasol as a consolation prize. Surprisingly [/sarcasm], the Lakers are not all that interested
The Chicago Bulls are exploring avenues to acquire Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol before Thursday's trade deadline, according to sources close to the situation.
The Bulls have long hoped to wedge themselves into the trade running for Orlando Magic star Dwight Howard, but sources told ESPN.com that Howard's well-chronicled lack of interest in a trade to Chicago has prompted the Bulls to switch their focus to Gasol in advance of Thursday's 3 p.m. ET deadline.
Sources say that the Lakers, however, have limited interest in the players Chicago would be offering, starting with Bulls forward Carlos Boozer.
Limited interest is a nice way of saying "Boozer for Gasol? HAHAHAH GTFO!". There's been a long running rumor of Watson + Boozer for Gasol which ignores the obvious problem that this trade is horrifically stupid for the Lakers. Gasol is much better than Boozer, and Watson's still a back up caliber PG [even if a very good one].
Now Watson probably would be a very solid guy next to Kobe as he can shoot very well from beyond the arc when open, bring the ball up the floor, and defend pretty well. The Lakers wouldn't really need a whole lot of play making from him, just a guy to knock down open shots and do the little things. He's become quite good at that with Chicago.
That said, anyone who has ever watched Gasol and Boozer plays knows there's a mammoth difference between the two, and that gap isn't closed by throwing in a backup guard even if he is on a very reasonable deal that even has an out clause at the end of the year to provide extra flexibility.
It's a bummer that Dwight isn't interested in Chicago, but at this point, it's no surprise. We could all hope he'd change his mind but that doesn't seem likely, not with his heart set on New Jersey [for God knows what reason] and their ability to sign him next season using cap room.
The trade for Gasol, while awesome, is a similar pipe dream. The Bulls simply aren't good enough trade partners with the Lakers whom beat up on Boozer enough in the playoffs to realize that Carlos isn't any kind of answer for them.
I continue to expect a quiet trade deadline for Chicago.