Report: Warriors, Knicks, Spurs, Blazers among teams pursuing Pau Gasol
Former Lakers big man will have big options
Pau Gasol is one of the most well-known players on this summer's free agency list. The 35-year-old two-time NBA champion All-Star center long ago telegraphed that he was moving on from the Bulls and would look for greener pastures in free agency. With the NBA's open season on signing new players beginning late Thursday night, ESPN reports on several teams likely to pursue Gasol to help push them to a higher level:
Also in the race for Pau Gasol, per sources: Portland, Wolves, Knicks, Spurs. https://t.co/p2VdWU67hF— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 1, 2016
What's more, Ramona Shelburne reports that the Warriors could look to add Gasol if they strike out on Kevin Durant.
Let's look at those options:
- Blazers: Young team, so not a great fit, but he could help put them over the cap and I'm sure he'd fit with the city's artsy feel, though he tends to prefer larger cities. He would do wonders in Terry Stotts' post-up offense which uses the post to create spacing with smart passers.
- Timberwolves: A fun young team and he'd get to play for Tom Thibodeau again ... but that's a small city with a young team. Not a great fit.
- Knicks: The opera he's always dreamed of, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the sights, the sounds, the concrete jungle where dreams are made of, his old coach Phil Jackson in charge, the Triangle offense, everything he could dream of! Except this team is still terrible even with Derrick Rose and reportedly Joakim Noah, too. So that's not great.
- Spurs: This has been rumored for months, his brother Marc even alluded to it recently. It gives him a real shot at winning at title and puts him with the best coach in the game in Gregg Popovich. It's not the kind of market he wants, but for culture and joy of the team experience, San Antonio can't be topped.
- Warriors: Great culture. Great food. Big market. Big money. Championship dreams. Fun team. It's perfect. Ironically, the Warriors would be the ones at risk here, as teams could target Gasol in pick and roll situations like the Warriors do to others. But he gives them a rim protector who can score in the post. It's a great fit.
Gasol is going to have his choice of a number of good fits and great cultural scenes. He'll get to pick his options. And with the kind of money being handed out, even at age 35 and with diminished abilities, he could be in line for a big, short-term payday.
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