Mar 14, 2014; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) is defended by San Antonio Spurs forward Tim Duncan (left) during the first half at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

How the San Antonio Spurs Will Land Pau Gasol

The world champion San Antonio Spurs are in quiet pursuit of veteran Pau Gasol.  What needs to happen for them to land him?

Bulls land Carmelo Anthony

Probably the biggest threat to every team in the Gasol chase are the Chicago Bulls.  They reside in the weak Eastern Conference, have a proven and respected head coach and a roster burgeoning with enough talent for a title run.  All they need is another scoring presence to help their anemic offense.  That is why they are furiously chasing All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony, who can become that second scoring presence next to a hopefully healthy Derrick Rose.  At the same time, everybody knows Gasol is their Plan B if Anthony decides to go elsewhere.  This could explain why Gasol is awaiting a decision by him like everybody else.

Scott Brooks and the Thunder can’t find the cash

One team that really wants Gasol and is doing everything within their power to convince him are the Oklahoma City Thunder.  After their tough loss to the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference Finals, it became clear they needed another presence in the paint to help Serge Ibaka.  The roster itself is attractive but unfortunately head coach Scott Brooks is handcuffed in negotiations by the fact OKC has just $5 million to spend under the luxury tax line.  That is considerably less than the $10 million rumors have hinted Gasol is looking for.  So unless the Thunder make some cost-cutting moves they are indeed a long shot.

Phil Jackson can’t sell Derek Fisher

Pau Gasol certainly has fond memories of Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher.  Together they won two championships in 2009 and 2010 for the Los Angeles Lakers.  Now Jackson and Fisher are together again in New York and they have high hopes for turning the Knicks around.  Obviously their top priority is retaining Carmelo Anthony but Gasol is also a part of the plan whether they do or not.  The problem is the Knicks are not exactly immediate contenders even with Anthony.  Also key in the facts are that Jackson is not coaching.  He is team president and Fisher is on the bench now, his first coaching job at any level.  At age 34, Gasol may not want to risk the few remaining years he has left on a rebuilding project.

If these key factors come to pass, the San Antonio Spurs could land the steal of NBA free agency, upping their already solid odds of repeating as champs.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony Derek Fisher Pau Gasol Phil Jackson San Antonio Spurs Scott Brooks

  • TerribleEddie

    So three unlikely events have to occur for the Spurs to have a shot at Pau, and even then, where are the Spurs going to get $10mil in cap space?

    Pau is not coming to SA. Bet on it.

    • Tess

      Two somewhat unlikely events: I’d be shocked if he goes to the Knicks at this point in his career.

      One possibility capwise: sign and trade with Lakers built around Tiago Splitter. We don’t have enough minutes for Duncan, Splitter, Diaw, and Gasol anyway. Based on the last couple of years, Gasol is a step back defensively compared to Splitter, but he’s a vastly more versatile offensive weapon.

      And really, if we trade Splitter, Gasol would be better off coming here where he could be effective immediately instead of going to OKC where Scotty Brooks would have to implement a new offense, or elsehe’d never see the ball.

      So if the Lakers will consider a sign and trade, all that has to happen to make it perfectly plausible is Carmelo to Chicago, which isn’t that crazy.

  • Machete0678

    In the long term, Gasol would earn more money with the Spurs simply because his career would be extended. Think about it in additional years with a championship team and being part of a great organization.

  • cesarnoel

    it’s just simple: If he likes to be in an organization who are team-first mentality and has a higher chances of winning a championship but less money then SA would be his best bet. If he wants more money and more attention then signs elsewhere.

    • Erik Lambert

      Well if he’s anything like Melo, then he’s signing elsewhere.

  • cesarnoel

    Gasol signing with San Antonio would ease the transition of Duncan retiring since he will replace Duncan in the lineup.

    • Erik Lambert

      Keep in mind though Duncan is only a year older than Pau so the transition would be brief. I think the idea is to get them both on the floor and ride them to one more title.

      • joe mcleod

        He is 4 years older

      • deathlocke

        Gasol is currently 34 to Duncan’s 38 which is give the Spurs a short term stop gap fill in for Duncan. Anyways the Franchise will be in Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard’s shoulder when Timmy decides to retire.

        • Erik Lambert

          Yeah, I mixed T-Dunc up with another player.