Four-time NBA All-Star Pau Gasol is going to be a hot commodity when free agency opens early tomorrow morning. Even at the age of 33, Gasol brings a lot to the table as a scorer and distributor from either the power forward or center position.
He averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game for a lackluster Los Angeles Lakers squad this past season. No longer a true No. 1 option on a good team, Gasol seems to understand that he’s in the point in his career where contending for a title is more important than collecting a huge paycheck. In this, his services are going to be wanted big time.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Gasol already has a handful of visits lined up this week.
Gasol has said numerous times that his main priority is playing for a title-contending team. He will meet with Oklahoma City, Chicago and Golden State and might also sit down with the Lakers, the team that has employed him since acquiring him from Memphis in February 2008.
The only team of this group that doesn’t fit the championship model that Gasol has discussed is the Lakers, who could very well enter that territory depending on what happens in free agency. LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have both been linked to the Lakers.
Chicago is a really intriguing option. Gasol would be able to team up with Joakim Noah to form a solid power forward/center tandem. Potentially add Anthony to the mix, and that’s one of the best frontcourts in the NBA.
Golden State is going hard after a stretch four in Steve Kerr’s new system. Multiple reports have linked the Warriors to Minnesota Timberwolves’ All-Star Kevin Love. In addition to that, the Warriors are said to be interested in Channing Frye of the Phoenix Suns. In order for Golden State or Oklahoma City to sign Gasol, they would either have to free up cap space or the veteran would have to take less money to play for a contender.
Photo: Courtesy of USA Today