Bulls get Gasol after Anthony sticks with Knicks
"It hasn't been easy," Gasol tweeted. ". . . Looking forward to this new chapter of my career."
The Spaniard is one of the NBA's most offensively gifted and versatile big men, and he has long been one of Kobe Bryant's favorite teammates with the Lakers. Gasol spent the last seven seasons in Los Angeles, teaming with Bryant to win two championships and reach another NBA Finals.
The 7-foot Gasol is a four-time all-star and averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds last season, and he brings some sorely needed offensive punch to the Bulls frontcourt.
The Bulls all along knew that their pitch to Anthony resonated but that attempts to orchestrate a sign-and-trade to get Anthony closer to a maximum salary were a long shot. Their best offer without a sign-and-trade and with keeping Taj Gibson checked in at four years, $73 million.
Two years for LeBron
A person familiar with the negotiations said LeBron James signed a two-year, $42.1 million contract with the Cavaliers.
The contract includes an option for James to become a free agent next summer, but it is strictly "a business deal," the source said.
James announced he was returning to the Cavaliers on Friday, picking Cleveland over Miami and reversing the decision he made four years ago to join the Heat.
Wizards lose Ariza
As summer priorities go, the Washington Wizards scored on one and missed on the other. Two days after they celebrated the signing of center Marcin Gortat, small forward Trevor Ariza agreed to terms with the Houston Rockets.
Ariza's departure spoils the Wizards' effort to maintain continuity after winning a playoff series for the first time in nine years. Ariza averaged 14.4 points and shot 40.7 percent from the field last season. With Ariza accepting a lower-than-expected deal in Houston, the Rockets still hope to retain restricted free agent Chandler Parsons, who signed a three-year, $46 million offer sheet with Dallas.
More wheeling, dealing
The San Antonio Spurs re-signed guard Patty Mills. Mills averaged 10.2 points and 2.1 rebounds per game last season in a breakout year for the Australian guard. . . . The Phoenix Suns officially announced the acquisition of point guard Isaiah Thomas in a sign-and-trade deal with the Sacramento Kings.
The Utah Jazz matched Charlotte's four-year, $63 million offer for restricted free agent Gordon Hayward. Hayward led the Jazz with a career-high 16.2 points-per-game average last season. . . . The Memphis Grizzlies have signed eight-time all-star Vince Carter, 37, to a multiyear contract. Carter averaged 11.9 points off the bench last season for the Mavericks. - Inquirer wire services