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Report: Spurs, Bulls, Lakers, maybe Thunder in mix for Pau Gasol as he waits

Jul 8, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

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Pau Gasol is waiting. Like the rest of us.

Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James have largely bottlenecked free agency as they take their time making their decisions — maybe because they want to play together. Doesn’t matter the reason, they have the right to make their own decisions on their own schedule. It just leaves everyone hanging.

Like Gasol. A host of quality suitors are targeting him, with various contract offers, but he’s not moving until those two do. If Anthony goes to Los Angeles Gasol likely follows, if not… who knows. Adrian Wojnarowski has the latest.

About the Thunder, signals are mixed apparently, reports Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

The Thunder and Spurs reportedly have the same mid-level exception offer ($5.3 million a year to start, max four years), so for Gasol that would be a matter of fit. Reportedly he was impressed that both Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook pitched him personally. It’s very easy to picture Gasol working well in the Spurs system and making them even more difficult to beat.

The Bulls, if they don’t land Anthony, could be a great fit with him at the four, and they will be contenders if Derrick Rose can stay on the court. Plus the Bulls can potentially offer more money.

He loves Los Angeles and playing next to Kobe Bryant, if Anthony comes it’s expected Gasol returns. The Knicks would like to get in the game but need to clear out enough salary to even offer the mid-level exception money.

Gasol has options because he’s still as skilled a big man as their is in the game — other teams realize his slide the last couple years was more about how Mike D’Antoni used him than his skills deteriorating. Look at the caliber of teams targeting him — they get what has happened and that he could be a good value addition.

However, Gasol is in no rush to choose one of those options. Just like LeBron and ‘Melo.

  1. sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:23 PM

    “Gasol has options because he’s still as skilled a big man as their is in the game — other teams realize his slide the last couple years was more about how Mike D’Antoni used him than his skills deteriorating. Look at the caliber of teams targeting him — they get what has happened and that he could be a good value addition.”

    Yet Gasol is being offered very little money.

    I’ll spare ya’ll the stats but they say he should be paid more too.

    • miamatt - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      No kidding.

      It’s hard for me to believe, in this market, that Gasol would end up signing for the MLE.

      Pau would obviously be a great fit in the Spurs system, and he would be a major boon for OKC as well. If the Lakers land Melo, going back there would seem to be a no-brainer. But at the end of the day, Chicago can likely offer him the payday he deserves and they would vault back into the pole position of teams in the East with a shot at knocking out Miami. Heck, they might be the only team that can do it if the Heat come back together, as I expect they will.

      • apkyletexas - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:48 PM

        Tiago has a +/- of +10 the past 3 years for the Spurs – much higher than Gasol has ever had except his first few months with the Lakers. Boris Diaw is far more versatile, being able to play ever position from point guard to point forward to center effectively. Other than a depth option for Duncan, Gasol doesn’t make a lot of sense for this Spurs team. But, if they are looking at him as a longer-term replacement for Duncan after retirement at the end of this year, it might make sense if Gasol can find a way to stay healthy.

    • smoothaswilkes - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:18 PM

      I wouldn’t confuse what teams are offering with what Pau is worth. For the most part, those teams offering the MLE can’t offer anymore money, otherwise they would.

      Thanks for sparing us the stats. Really, thanks.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:03 PM

        would have loved to compare him to Melo though…

        some other time…

  2. kb2408 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:31 PM

    I’m glad Pau has some very good options to choose from. Even if he leaves the LAKERS he will forever be appreciated and loved in Los Angeles. I kinda hope he goes to the Spurs. That would give “super team” a whole new meaning. Even if goes to OKC or Chicago he makes them serious contenders for a championship. Pau is still a player that can give a team 17-19 pts and 8-10 rebounds a night.

    • miamatt - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:38 PM

      I have to agree with you on that one. Gasol is still a difference maker at age 34, and probably underappreciated for what he brings to the table.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:51 PM

      I don’t see him scoring much more than 15 PPG on OKC, simply because they wouldn’t need him to. He’d make their offense much more balanced, with both him and Ibaka providing solid options in the frontcourt. He could certainly put up 18 PPG still, but I wouldn’t see him needing to on Oklahoma City.

      • khadeemw - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        The first sensible comment ive read about gasol all day. They guy is a good player but hes high maintenance. He admits he doesn’t play hard when hes not getting the ball. Playing in okc definitely should be a problem because Brooks hasnt shown the ability to operate an offense in which the non perimeter ball handlers are effective

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:14 PM

        I wouldn’t say it’s because he’s high maintenance, but because they wouldn’t need him to… ie- Bosh has the ability to score 20+ PPG if he’s featured, but on Miami he wasn’t needed to… so he scored closer to around 15-20 PPG…

        That said, I don’t disagree with your point about Brooks’ simplistic offensive sets.

      • kb2408 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:22 PM

        “High maintenance”? When has Pau ever been described as high maintenance? I would even say he’s one of the most “low maintenance” NBA players I’ve ever seen. Mike D. jerked him around, to appease a player that was never worthy of being a LAKER to begin with, and Pau still showed the utmost professionalism. Pau has been a good dude on and off the court since he first got to the NBA.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:35 PM

        ^^^ Pau Gasol is not high maintenance. You must have him confused with Dwight Howard. He is high maintenance!! ^^^

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Yeah, Pau is the man.

  3. rajbais - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    San Antonio, stay out of this!!! You’ll become what people hate about Miami and the Lakers in their prime.

    • fanofthegame79 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:05 PM

      I doubt it…the Spurs seem to be made of Teflon. I find it funny because, up until they beat the Heat, the Spurs weren’t liked much at all. They were a boring team that only natives of San Antonio appreciated.

      • kb2408 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:26 PM

        Or those that don’t appreciate basketball played the way it was meant to be played. Even as an unapologetic LAKER fanatic, I can still appreciate what the Spurs have been since Timmy and Pop got there.

      • rajbais - Jul 9, 2014 at 7:30 AM

        I like your wisdom and where you come from.

  4. getlow81 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:35 PM

    Just stop it. Nobody is going to land Gasol for their mid-level exception. The only team that I could even see a chance of that happening with is San Antonio, even that’s an extremely long shot. He can get approximately double the mid-level salary and in a 2-3 year deal. It simply makes no sense financially for him to take half. Even the Bulls aren’t asking Melo’ to take half his salary, so why would anyone expect Gasol to?

    Sure, he’s made a boatload of cash and just turned 34. But he also had his most efficient rebounding seasons and one of his more efficient scoring seasons last year, he’s also won rings so he isn’t desperate like he may be otherwise.

    If the Bulls whiff on Melo, they’ll amnesty or trade Boozer for no salary in return and offer Gasol the $10 million per year contract for a couple seasons. Either that, or he’ll resign with the Lakers or somebody else who finds a way to pay him.

    The Thunder would need the Lakers to participate in a sign and trade for Perkins or other pieces to have any chance.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:02 PM

      getlow

      overall, I agree with you and the point you were making.

      But, when you said “he also had his most efficient rebounding seasons and one of his more efficient scoring seasons last year”, well that isn’t even close to being true.

      He had his 2nd WORST true shooting percentage in his career this past season shooting the ball.

      He has his 2nd WORST effective field goal percentage in his career this past season.

      His win shares per 48 min’s was the lowest of his entire career.

      His plain old regular field goal percentage was the 2nd lowest of his career.

      It was not one of his more efficient scoring seasons but one of his worst scoring seasons from an efficiency standpoint.

      Now, you were SPOT ON with the rebounding. It was his HIGHEST output per 36 min’s in his career as he pulled down an average of 11.1 boards per 36 min’s this season.

      • getlow81 - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:07 PM

        I didn’t say his shooting was the best, I said scoring. He was relied on heavily with that crappy roster when he was healthy, he dealt with lingering injuries all season. Oh yeah, that Mike D’Antoni had no idea how to use him properly either because he’s too big headed to adjust to the players, rather than forcing them to adjust to his system.

        Regardless, he still shot 48% from the field. Higher than the league average and well above average for most players in the NBA.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:18 PM

        you said “EFFICIENT scoring”

        scoring and scoring efficiently are not the same…

        one may score 16 a game on 16 shots a game

        or one may score 16 a game on 11 shots a game

        16 points is 16 points but one is a lot more efficient than the other and your words were as follows:

        “one of his MORE EFFICIENT SCORING seasons last year”

        No, he did NOT have one of his more efficient seasons scoring.

        He scored a lot because he shot more. He MISSED more too. Kobe was out, Nash was out, Dwight was in TX so Pau did shoot more and it led to scoring MORE points.

        But he did NOT score efficiently last season (for him anyway).

  5. loungefly74 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:39 PM

    as far as landing on a team in title contention (well…Lakers are a loooong shot), Pau is in a good position. Spurs, Thunder, Bulls, Heat chances of winning would substantially go up if they land the Spanierd. I wonder with him already having 2 rings makes him think about the money more…or lust after another ring?

  6. mogogo1 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:44 PM

    Talk about him having a bounce back year is a bit misleading because his dropoff hasn’t been all that major–he’s within like a basket and a rebound or two per game of when he joined the Lakers. It’s just that he’s clearly been unhappy and has missed time to injuries so the perception has been he’s really fallen off while the stats don’t really support that.

  7. antistratfordian - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:50 PM

    Pau is waiting to hear back from Riley after his meeting with LeBron.

    • ringjames - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:08 PM

      Exactly lol

    • spursareold - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      “Pau, Bron is going back to Cleveland, and we have money now! Wanna sign?”

      • antistratfordian - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

        More like, “Pau, Bron said ok. He’ll cut some off his deal to fit you in. Are you still in?”

    • miamatt - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      I don’t think that’s possible, anti. The Heat using exceptions on McRoberts and Granger means they are operating as a capped out team. If I understand this correctly, the Heat can either clear cap space and use it, or not and use their exceptions. What they cannot do is clear cap space, fill up to the max, and then use their exceptions within the same offseason.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:01 PM

        Channel your inner Garnett…

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:38 PM

      Oh? Riley hired Kevin McHale to negotiate a Joe Smith deal for Pau?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:40 PM

        Well, you know… if LeBron leaves for CLE and Bosh for HOU, Pau can go to MIA with Melo and Wade.

  8. jzone954 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Waiting? For Lebron?

  9. muathjam21 - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    Gasol is waiting on James and Anthony. Anthony is waiting on Bosh. Bosh is waiting on James. James is waiting on Riley. Riley is waiting on Bosh.

    Something has to give here.

    • getlow81 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:01 PM

      Other than the Rockets, nobody is waiting on Bosh lol. Unless they pull off some crazy type of sign and trade, Riley has already made his move with McRoberts and Granger, the Heat can’t do much more than that with all of the cap holds they have.

      LBJ or Melo will make their move first, then everything will start falling into place from there.

      • mogogo1 - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:49 PM

        Miami is up a creek if Bosh leaves. He’s the most underrated guy they have. Extremely versatile with All-Star skills but a bench player’s attitude who is willing to play third fiddle? Anybody who thinks McRoberts and Granger are going to fill in for Bosh are nuts.

  10. JT - Jul 8, 2014 at 3:57 PM

    Pau waiting this out, where he signs will depend on Melo.. If Melo doesn’t come to LA I wouldn’t be shocked to see him in OKC

    http://thefrontofficenews.com/v2/2014/07/08/nba-free-agency-chris-bosh-should-go-to-the-houston-rockets/

  11. spursareold - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:19 PM

    San Antonio could actually sign him to a 2 year MLE deal with an opt out in 2015. It’s pretty likely that both Tim and Manu retire next summer, so he could get more on a follow on deal than OKC or Miami would pay him. I say would, because either one of them could do the same thing, but it would put them into tax territory.

  12. chicagosports2014 - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:23 PM

    Da Bulls

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:55 PM

      Daaaaaaaaa Bulls!

  13. robigd - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    This is just the type of upgrade the Spurs make that have you scratching your head in April saying “They did it again”.

  14. azarkhan - Jul 8, 2014 at 4:57 PM

    Somehow I don’t see Pau Gasol going from $19.2 million to $5.3 million per year. The Spurs have no shot.

    • spursareold - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:11 PM

      It depends if he’s patient or not. SA can’t pay him THIS year, but should have some cap room next summer. They could have Duncan and Manu roll off the cap, and Kawhi’s cap hold as the 15th pick in the 2011 draft is only $4M. By waiting, they can also offer KL a new 5 yr contract, instead of the one 5 yr extension each team gets, and still keep that in their pocket for someone like SlowMo if he blows up.

  15. fordmandalay - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:32 PM

    So everyone is waiting to see what LeBron will do, while LeBron is waiting to see what Pat Riley will do. So Riley has the entire NBA by the ballz.

    • spursareold - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:58 PM

      Nope. LeBron has Riles and Arison by the balls.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:35 PM

        Yep. Cavs are working to create max cap room for LeBron.

        Meanwhile, if the Heat lose LeBron, they lose Bosh to Houston, Ray Allen to retirement, and Birdman probably leaves to take more money.

        Arison and Riles are just left with Wade, Cole, and Shabazz Napier…and McRoberts and Granger too after yesterday’s signings.

  16. Fantasy Football Consultant - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:44 PM

    Kobe, Anthony, Gasoline, I Thomas, Randle. Not too bad.

    • 88heatnation - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:59 PM

      Which one you choose to play defense

    • muathjam21 - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:30 PM

      Lol, it’s gonna be hilarious watching these delusional Lakers fans squirm when LA misses out on all of the above.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:26 PM

        hey, there’s a “D” in delusional…

        that’s where their D will come from…

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