Pau Gasol is one of the top free agents in the offseason and the Spanish center has mentioned a few NBA teams he’s interested in playing for.
“I’m not ruling anything out,” Gasol said in interview with marca.com. That could practically mean anything as the veteran center is on twilight of his career but the Spaniard’s one requirement is that “he plays for a contender.”
Gasol Destination #1: Back to Los Angeles
“Of course, I hope the Lakers will make an offer - one that is good enough for me to consider - but I’m open to any offers that I would consider interesting and motivating for my present and my future,” said Gasol in the same interview.
Financially, the Lakers have potentially five players under contract for the 2014-2015 season and total salaries amount to roughly 35 million. Yes there’s space to offer a bigger contract but L.A.’s priority wouldn’t be Gasol. So unless Pau decides to have a major paycut (unlike Kobe Bryant), there’s a slim chance the he’ll be back in Los Angeles.
Gasol Destination #2: Bro-Bears in Memphis
How about a Gasol-Gasol frontcourt in Memphis? It worked for the Spanish National Team so maybe it can work in Tennessee.
“The city of Memphis attracts me because it’s a city I know, there’s an opportunity of playing with my brother and they have a solid team,” said Gasol who was drafted by the Grizzlies in 2001 and played there for six and a half seasons.
While Gasol is open to playing with his brother, the Grizzlies may have to deal out other players first to open a roster spot if the salaries are considered. Power forward Zach Randolph has a player option for 16.5 million and as a team the Grizzlies have a payroll of around 64.1M. Can the Grizzlies be creative enough to open up space for a player like Pau?
Gasol Destination #3: Running with the Bulls
With a come-backing Derrick Rose, a defensive system in place (courtesy of Tom Thibodeau) and a bunch of players who already know their roles (Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and Jimmy Butler among others).
The Bulls have the capability to be creative financially with an option to cut/amnesty power forward Carlos Boozer. Alongside NBA Defensive Player of Year Noah and the Chicago defense, Gasol’s main weakness (read: defense) can be hidden and they sure can use a power forward/center that can provide a post presence and a mid-range game.
Which team is best fit for Gasol's skill set? And Which team will Gasol choose?