Before free agency hit, the suitors were aplenty for then-Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol. One of those teams happened to be the club that employed Pau’s younger brother in Marc Gasol–the Memphis Grizzlies.
With the connection between Marc, Pau, and the city of Memphis, many considered the Grizzlies an ideal match for the two-time champion, but it seems we may have gotten ahead of ourselves as Marc Gasol stated in an interview that he never once recruited his big brother.
“I didn’t try to convince Pau to come to Memphis. I told him he would have to come off the bench and he said he wouldn’t sign with the Grizzlies,” he joked.
“I support his decision at all times his decision to sign for the Bulls,” he said.
For Gasol, Pau, to end up in Memphis, it would’ve taken a big roster change, mainly Zach Randolph declining his $16 million player option, allowing him to hit the market as an unrestricted free agency. Instead, the Grizzlies never got to that exact point, extending Randolph to a deal that would span over the next three seasons and earn Z-Bo $30 million total.
With Memphis out of the question, other teams drew the interest of Pau who entered free agency for the first time in his career. And he had options. The defending champs in the San Antonio Spurs were interested as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat, New York Knicks, and Chicago Bulls.
In the end, Pau would make the decision to sign with the Bulls, hopefully propelling the franchise to the top of the Eastern Conference for the first time since the days of Michael Jordan.
With LeBron James leading the “go home movement”, it would have been entertaining to see Pau and Marc play side by side on the same team.