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The Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers have been working on a sign-and-trade package to bring Pau Gasol to the Bulls on a multiyear contract that starts at approximately $10 million a year, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
If a sign-and-trade doesn't come together, the Bulls will sign Gasol to a multiyear deal with a salary starting in the $6.5 million-a-year range, sources said. To clear some salary-cap room, the Bulls will trade center Greg Smith to the Dallas Mavericks, sources told Yahoo Sports' Marc Spears on Saturday.
Smith will make $948,163 next season. He didn’t play for the Bulls after being signed late last season, but averaged 3.5 points and 2.5 rebounds for the Houston Rockets last season in 11 games.
Gasol announced on Twitter Saturday evening that he was leaving the Lakers to join the Bulls.
It hasn't been easy. After meditating it a lot I've chosen to play with the Chicago Bulls. Looking forward to this new chapter of my career
— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) July 12, 2014
Once the Bulls began to believe they had lost out on free agent Carmelo Anthony in recent days, they moved to make the deal for Gasol. For the Bulls, Gasol joins a frontline that includes All-Star Joakim Noah and forward Taj Gibson. The Bulls are considering using the amnesty clause on the final year of forward Carlos Boozer's contract.
Gasol, 34, turned down a two-year, $22 million deal to stay with the Lakers in recent days, signaling an end to his seven-year run that included two NBA championships.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds for the Lakers last season. In 13 NBA seasons with the Memphis Grizzlies and Lakers, Gasol has averaged 18 points and nine rebounds.