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Knicks may covet Marc Gasol, but he is playing it cool

Mar 10, 2011, 6:56 PM EDT

Memphis Grizzlies v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

The Knicks have become the ultimate leverage for free agents — flirt publically with the big market team trying to rebuild through free agency and watch your current team up their offer to keep you. Ask Rudy Gay how that works if you’re unsure.

Marc Gasol of the suddenly hot Memphis Grizzlies is a guy the Knicks actually covet — he can defend big guys in the post, protect the rim on defense, is a good passer (runs in the family) and can knock down a mid-range jumper. He is exactly the big man the Knicks need.

And he’s a free agent after this season. Restricted (at least under the current CBA), so the Grizzlies could match any offer, but he can test out the market.

But Gasol is not playing the flirting game. This is what he told Alan Hahn of Newsday about this summer and the Knicks.

“I’m not worried about it,” Gasol said of his status as a restricted free agent. “I’m just trying to enjoy my situation right now and make the playoffs. That’s the only thing that I really care about right now.

“When the time comes, we’ll see what happens and we’re going to study every situation by itself,” he added. “But right now, we’ve got too nice of a present to worry about the future.”

Who knows what the free agency landscape will look like under a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. (Or when it will be, for that matter.) But you can bet that no matter what there will be plenty of interest in Marc Gasol. And the Knicks will be one team flirting with him.

  1. r0llinginthedeep - Mar 11, 2011 at 5:54 AM

    As a Knicks fan… Is it weird that I’d rather have Marc Gasol than Chris Paul?

    Hear me out though, with the players that the Knicks have in place, you need a good defensive center (aswell as all the other qualities that Gasol has, as alluded to in the article), rather than a gamebreaking PG. I would far rather have Marc Gasol and Chauncey Billups than Chris Paul and veteran minimum center X (let’s call him Jared Jeffries, who has been good for us to be fair). PG isn’t the Knicks biggest need, and Chris Paul may be a luxury they cannot afford. But Marc Gasol fits a need in so many ways.

    It’s all moot anyway, Marc Gasol is good, and the entire league knows it, he’s going to get a lot of money this offseason and the Knicks may well be priced out of the conversation anyway.

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