The moment I heard the news Friday that Memphis big man Pau Gasol had been
traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, I knew what was coming next.
"Fire John Paxson!"
Bulls fans everywhere reacted with outrage as the team¹s GM failed to
acquire the 7-foot Gasol, widely regarded as the potential "missing piece"
to the Bulls championship puzzle.
Adding insult to injury, the Lakers appear to have acquired Gasol for 80
cents on the dollar, parting with the expiring contract of worthless Kwame
Brown, Jarvis Crittenton and a pair of first-round draft picks.
This, after the Bulls reportedly declined to trade for Gasol last season
after Memphis demanded two of the Bulls so-called "Big Three" of Luol Deng,
Ben Gordon and Kirk Hinrich.
Since the price for Gasol has gone down, it's natural for fans to wonder why
the Bulls wouldn¹t have made an offer.
Well, first of all, circumstances are much different now than they were a
The Bulls stink this season. There is no acquisition to be made that is
going to put that team over the hump. They couldn't even score 70 points
against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the worst team in the NBA.
Secondly, would Gasol be the right fit for the Bulls? A lot of people seem
to think so.
Being a contrarian, I beg to differ.
Gasol, despite his 18 points-per-game scoring average, is a complementary
player. He's incapable of carrying an NBA team to greatness.
Memphis made three playoff appearances during the Gasol era. The Grizzlies
record? 0-12. Four-games-and-out three years in a row.
You would think the Great Gasol would have been able to lift his team to
just one postseason victory somewhere along the way, wouldn't you?
His reputation is overinflated by Bulls' fans who are desperate for ANYONE
who can score with his back to the basket.
Truthfully, Gasol's value to a team is no greater than Deng's. He's a good
player, a piece of the puzzle but not a guy who can carry a team
For that reason, Gasol fits perfectly with the Lakers, where he can be Kobe
The Bulls? They need a go-to superstar. If you want to rip Paxson, rip him
for whiffing on Kevin Garnett last offseason.
That was the guy the Bulls needed.