Pau Gasol is one of a handful of free agents who will get deals quickly this offseason but only after the first free agent domino falls. Everyone is waiting on Carmelo Anthony and his decision on where to play next season and Gasol is at the top of the list when it comes to player who will be attended to next.
Right now it appears that four teams are interested in Gasol with the Los Angeles Lakers acting as a de facto fifth. The Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are viewed as front runners while the Miami Heat and New York Knicks are in the running but with stipulations.
According to David Aldgridge of NBA.com, the Thunder may end up offering Gasol a three-year mid-level deal even though it’s widely known that the Spanish big man will get bigger offers than that from other teams.
Oklahoma City, according to a source, hopes that a three-year deal with its mid-level exception can do the trick with Gasol, even as it understands his agent, Arn Tellem, will surely be able to shake out bigger offers elsewhere.
What the Thunder are selling is not unlike what Pat Riley is selling to free agent for the Miami Heat — do you want a big money contract or do you want to secure your legacy with more championship rings? Miami might end up offering more to Gasol and so too might the CHicago Bulls, but the Thunder seem to be missing just one piece and that piece could be Gasol.
He’ll be 34 when the season starts and is starting to show signs of wear, which means getting him for a mid-level exception seems fair. It’s all down to whether Gasol awnts to get one last big contract or put himself in a position to win a few more rings before he retires.