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Report: Pau Gasol will have plenty of options as a free agent

Apr 4, 2014, 2:05 PM EST

Paul Gasol AP

Pau Gasol‘s season with the Lakers appears to be over. For the past few years he has been a terrible fit with the Lakers, things going wrong after Phil Jackson left. Mike Brown didn’t know what to do with Gasol for some reason, Mike D’Antoni’s system is classic square peg in the round hole for him. Combine that with some age, declining defense and injuries, and the result hasn’t been pretty. Both sides are ready to part ways when he becomes a free agent this summer.

When he does Gasol will have options.

He still has a lot of supporters around the league and while he’s not going to make anywhere near $19 million he is going to get paid. Chris Mannix laid it out well at Sports Illustrated.

A poll of NBA executives on Gasol’s future returned many of the same answers: Chicago. Cleveland. Charlotte, if the Bobcats believe a Gasol-Al Jefferson front line can stop anybody. Memphis, if Zach Randolph opts out. Even after a disappointing season — and with the understanding that Gasol has never been a strap-a-team-on-his-back kind of player — Gasol will be among the most sought after free agents on the market.

“There are a couple thoughts out there on Pau,” says an Eastern Conference executive. “Some people say he is worn out, that he is too far past his prime to really help a contender. There are others that think that LA, that environment the past two season, that style of play has destroyed him and if he goes somewhere else, plays with a different coach, he might be rejuvenated. I could see someone who thinks the latter paying him $10 million a year.”

I bet that number is a little high, more like $8-$9 million.

I also bet that he bounces back — not to vintage form but to one that will really help the Bulls or Grizzlies or wherever he lands.

This summer he will play for Spain at the FIBA World Cup — taking place in Spain — and that will rejuvenate his love of the game. Then he will come into his next training camp and find a coach that wants to use him in a smart way in the post, putting his passing skills to use, and he will put up much better numbers. He will look better.

  1. spthegr8 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Pau is NOT done yet, just watch and see. He hasn’t been used correctly in YEARS!! I’m not saying he is gonna be Pau in his prime but, he is still one of the most versatile Big’s in the league. Can do a little of everything. As a Laker fan, I’m gonna miss Pau and if it wasn’t for him, we don’t win those last Championships in 09 & 10.

    • miamatt - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:47 PM

      Totally agree, Pau most definitely has something left in the tank, and he was indeed vital to the last Lakers’ championship run.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      I applaud Lakers fans who can actually say that Pau was a HUGE factor in the 09 and 10 Championship runs. Nice call, spthegr8.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 4, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        He wasn’t just a HUGE factor – he was the main factor. If it wasn’t for Pau’s arrival the Lakers would’ve never even been a contender, let alone champions.

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        Agreed!

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:45 PM

        2009 Lakers Finals

        Kobrick Bryant .430% from the field

        Pau Gasol .600% from the field

        Of course the Lakers shot .457% as a team (that’s with Kobrick and his .430%, which is substantial because Kobrick took 135 field goal attempts and the next highest on the team was Pau’s 60 field goal attempts on .600% shooting)

        2010 Lakers Finals

        Kobrick Bryant .405% from the field on 163 field goal attempts

        Pau Gasol .478% from the field on 90 field goal attempts.

        Was a tough series for all the Lakers shooting wise as the team only shot .418% from the field, but Kobrick couldn’t even shoot .418% from the field that series…

        Lamar Odom shot .489% to lead the team in shooting percentage and Pau was 2nd at .478%

      • asimonetti88 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:14 PM

        It’s really easy to cherrypick stats and throw them out with no context. Are you really trying to say that the Lakers would have won the 09 and 10 Finals without Kobe?

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 4, 2014 at 8:11 PM

        No, I’m NOT trying to say that. That’s you putting words in my mouth.

        I was agreeing to the folks comments above me awho said Pau was a vital part of the two championships and that they would not have won those titles without him.

        And since you said I’m cherry picking stats, here is how Kobrick shot compared to the team in every NBA Finals he played in.

        In the 2010 Finals, the Lakers shot .418% as a team and Kobrick shot .405%

        In the 2009 Finals, the Lakers shot .457% as a team and Kobrick shot .430%

        In the 2008 Finals, the Lakers shot .441% as a team and Kobrick shot .405%

        In the 2004 Finals, the Lakers shot .416% as a team and Kobrick shot .381%

        In the 2002 Finals, the Lakers shot .505% as a team and Kobrick shot .514%

        In the 2001 Finals, the Lakers shot .465% as a team and Kobrick shot .415%

        In the 2000 Finals, the Lakers shot .480% as a team and Kobrick shot .367%.

        An all time great player cannot shoot better than a 15 man team average? In all Finals series except one?

        Average all them together and he’s well below what the team shot as a whole and there are many men on 15 man rosters who are not close to being all time greats.

        Shouldn’t an all time great at least help his team in shooting percentage?

        In ALL Finals games Kobrick has played in, he’s only shooting .412% and we’re talking about him taking over 800 shots in these games combined, not a small sample size.

    • spthegr8 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:39 PM

      @Anti & Fan of the game
      I agree also!!

  2. sellahh - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:01 PM

    Still the guy who shut down Dwight and battled KG toe-to-toe (man that block from behind on him in Game 7 was nasty).
    And still the guy who was tissue paper against the Mavs. (Although it was Odom and Gasol who won those titles at 4&5 for the Lakers, contrary to what some clueless people think, Bynum was a very little factor in both of those championships and I think his increased minutes, despite his great season, might have actually hurt the Lakers in the playoffs).
    Wish him all the best

    • asimonetti88 - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:08 PM

      Odom was very important to the Lakers’ success. Pau and Bynum both play better at the 5. Consequently, they did not play together as much under Phil as they did under Mike Brown. Odom allowed the Lakers to play both Pau and Bynum at the 5 interchangeably without a dropoff at the power forward position.

      • spthegr8 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        @Asim
        I agree and I would even say that Lamar was more valuable than Bynum. Our best line up back then was with LO @ the 4 and Pau @ the 5. Not many teams ( if any @ that time ) had a 4 that could get a rebound and start the break. LO use to be a BEAST!!! Shame what has happened too him!! One of my Fav Lakers of All-Time!!

  3. sylpkt - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:02 PM

    How about the Thunder? Anesty Perkins (finally), frees up $9m. Give him 20-25 minutes a night and let Adams provide 15 as a backup for another season. Brooks loves his aging veterans and having seeing DFish get an important suporting role in the twilight of his career and having the relationship with Serge from the Spanish national team would certainly appeal to him. If a ready made contender with an open starting spot is what he’s looking for, that’s his best option, better than Chicago because it’s anyone’s guess what Rose is going to be going forward.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      Good points. That would make OKC that much better, not to mention his experience in the post season and Finals.

    • adamsjohn714 - Apr 5, 2014 at 6:49 AM

      Amnesty Perk. Play Adams/Ibaka/Collison as the front line, with Durant at the 4 when you go “small.”. Saves a whole bunch of cash while getting better and younger. Pau is pretty much done at this point. He’s an aging, injury prone, poor shooting and high turnover guy that you’re going to give $8 million? He’s a good rebounder. They’ve already got good rebounders.

  4. lj312chicago - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Him coming to chicago makes no sense financially or rotation wise with Gibson, Noah, and the number 1 overseas prospect nikola mirotic coming over who is supposed to be the next dirk nowitzki…

    • savvybynature - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Kinda doubt there will ever be another Dirk Nowitzki.

      • lj312chicago - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        I hear ya I’m just saying with money tied up in Taj and Noah, and Nikola Mirotic supposedly being bought out and brought over here…there’s no point in bringing him to Chicago. Pau’s wanted to come to Chicago for years now…LOL we got Boozer instead….SMH

  5. lakerade - Apr 4, 2014 at 3:53 PM

    Knicks?

  6. unxpexted1 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:21 PM

    THunder would be an interesting fit, and depending on when Andrew Bogut’s contract is up, i wouldn’t mind seeing him in golden state.

    • bougin89 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:30 PM

      Bogut just got a huge extension. 3 years and $36 million left after this season.

  7. dablakdrphil - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:58 PM

    *memories

  8. bhunter1995 - Apr 4, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Pau is putting up 17/9/4 how kany bigs can say the same, and remember, Pau is playing limited minutes in a system that ignores the post. He can be that guy who makes a borderline contender complete as a team. I think h would be a good fit on CHI, OKC, and even HOU if McHale would use him right which he would considering McHale’s career as a big man.

    • bougin89 - Apr 4, 2014 at 5:19 PM

      I think you’re right. Howard and Gasol didn’t work in D’Antoni’s system but I think they could work well with each other in a system that utilized their strengths. Like a poor man’s version of David Robinson and Duncan back in the day.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 4, 2014 at 7:52 PM

      Of course this is a major pipe dream, but he’d be a great fit in Miami, too!

      • bhunter1995 - Apr 5, 2014 at 5:42 PM

        Both OKC and Chicago can sign him without going into the luxury tax and Houstan could if they bit the bullet and took the tax. So no its not a pipe dream Pau will want to play for a contender not D’Antoni as the tank commander. Those are some contenders that fit him why is this a pipe dream???

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 5, 2014 at 8:51 PM

        I’m a Miami Heat fan. His contract wouldn’t fit with their current salary situation – that’s what Gasol going to the Heat is my pipe dream.

  9. ranfan12 - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:26 PM

    Memphis possibly?

  10. tomtravis76 - Apr 4, 2014 at 11:09 PM

    The thunder angle seems like a perfect fit. But what about Minnesota, get to play with his Spain team PG?

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