Although the current courtship of New York Knicks’ free agent forward Carmelo Anthony and the inevitable courtship of Miami Heat forward LeBron James are holding up free agency, Los Angeles Lakers free agent big man Pau Gasol is getting plenty of attention.
The Lakers would like to hang on to Gasol, but the Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Miami Heat, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs are all very interested in him as well. The Oklahoma City Thunder have also spoken to Gasol. On Wednesday, a report surfaced that Thunder stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant were pitching the idea of joining the Thunder to Gasol and that the Thunder may now be the front runner.
Jabari Davis of Basketball Insiders believes Gasol would be an excellent fit.
Hey Jim, thanks for joining again this week. You know something, I initially thought the same thing…but have come around to the idea. I still think the Spurs are his best fit, but Pau could definitely help OKC get to that next level as well. His poise, tremendous skill set, and overall basketball IQ (see why I think the SPurs?) would be a welcomed addition in Brooks’ lineup. Plus, having the rim-protecting power forward in Ibaka would help to mask some of Gasol’s deficiencies on the defensive end. At this point, Gasol is no longer a guy you want playing more than 28-32 minutes a night, so a three-man rotation of Gasol/Ibaka/Adams could be very nice. Gasol/Adams take most of the minutes at the C, and you rotate between Ibaka and Gasol at the power forward depending upon the matchup and lineup. Not sure how they might go about doing it, but I could see that working out well.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds 3.4 assists and 1.5 blocks per game last season. He shot 48.0% from the field, 28.6% from beyond the arc and 73.6% from the free throw line