Los Angeles Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol had his name tossed around during the trade deadline, but the talk around him has died down.
However, with Gasol set to become a free agent in the summer, he is expected to be one of the most sought-after players on the market.
According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, there are mixed views on how Gasol will fair out of D’Antoni’s system, but they seem to agree that if he doesn’t return to the Lakers, he will likely choose between the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and possibly the Memphis Grizzlies.
Gasol, though, will have options. 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.”
Gasol avereaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game last season.