Jan 11, 2011, 2:57 PM EDT
Target number one for the New York Knicks remains Carmelo Anthony. He is their one true love, but with the tide of events pushing Anthony into the arms of the Nets, the Knicks are going to need an ending like The Graduate to kill this marriage (“It’s too late.” “Not for me.”)
But if the Knicks don’t steal the girl out of the church, then what?
How about a big, burly Spaniard like Marc Gasol? That is who the Knicks will target this summer if they can’t spend all their money on Anthony, according to the New York Post (via CBS Facts & Rumors).
If the Nets pull off the blockbuster multi-team trade and Anthony accepts a contract extension, the Knicks are expected to change the focus of this offseason to restricted free agent 7-foot-1 center Marc Gasol. The younger brother of the Lakers’ Pau, Gasol is the type of burly big man the roster lacks and team president Donnie Walsh covets.
Gasol would be a good fit in the Knicks’ system — he is very good on the pick-and-roll because he can pop out for the midrange or roll to the hoop (he is shooting 62.8 percent as the roll man this season in Memphis, they should use him more that way). He can defend the rim and rebound, but would not drag down the running game.
The Grizzlies have a $4.5 million qualifying offer in for Gasol, so he will be a restricted free agent (unless the new Collective Bargaining Agreement changes everything) so the Grizzlies would have the right to match any offer.
Grizzlies’ owner Michael Heisley has said he wants to keep this core of players together in Memphis. Add to that Zach Randolph being an unrestricted free agent — Memphis may well lose that big to the market — and the Grizzlies have some motivation to keep Gasol and spend a little to do so.
Meaning the Knicks would need to overpay to get Gasol. But that hasn’t stood in the franchise’s way in the past.
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