Should the Golden State Warriors miss out on the Kevin Durant sweepstakes, the two-time defending Western Conference champions surely do have a backup plan.
We’ve heard rumors that the team might be interested in upgrading at the center position after it fell flat during the NBA Finals.
Now, according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, the Warriors will make a strong play for Chicago Bulls big man Pau Gasol should they not land Durant in free agency.
“One sneaky team to watch in Pau Gasol free agency: Golden State Warriors. If they miss on KD, been told they are very interested,” the NBA insider reported. “Gasol took less to sign with Bulls. He isn’t keen on doing so again, but market + contender status matters to him.”
In order to sign any of the top-end free agents, Golden State would have to cut some fat off its cap. Recent reports suggest that might come in the form of a salary dump of Andrew Bogut’s contract.
Whether Gasol would take less money to join a team that’s been among the most successful in recent NBA history remains to be seen.
What we do know is that he’d be a tremendous fit in Steve Kerr’s system. Not only is he a center that can hit the mid range, his rebounding and passing abilities would come in handy with the Warriors.
Gasol, 35, averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 4.1 assists for the Bulls last season.