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Bulls plan to fly to LA to court free agent Gasol

While Carmelo Anthony has been the Bulls top target in free agency, there plans for a fluid summer to improve and add depth to the roster will go as follows if the All-Star small forward opts to join the team after a nine-hour courting session on Tuesday or take the extra year of security and more money to remain in New York.

Anthony met with officials from the Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks on Wednesday. He will conclude his free agency tour on Thursday in his offseason home of Los Angeles, where he is expected to hear a pitch from the Lakers and Kobe Bryant.

Anthony is expected to make a decision on where he will be playing next season by next week.

While they wait on his decision, ESPN reported that the Bulls plan to fly to Los Angeles on Thursday to meet with free agent Pau Gasol. The report states the Bulls rising interest in Gasol is due to their concern that they will be unable to convince Anthony to leave New York. It also states that Gasol is their top target after Anthony and the 7-ft Spaniard has been connected to the Bulls in the past through trade rumors.

Other suitors for Gasol include the San Antonio Spurs, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, the Dallas Mavericks and the New York Knicks.

The Lakers are also interested in bringing Gasol back to pair with Bryant, but most likely won't tender an offer until Anthony's decision. They can still offer the power forward more money than anyone else can and Gasol's affinity with Bryant and Los Angeles is well known.

Gasol, 33, averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 31.4 minutes for the Los Angeles Lakers last season.