The rumblings about the Spurs adding a new big man are intensifying. This week, there’s been a bit of a revelation about the Spurs pursuit of Marc Gasol.
What analysts have seen as the biggest obstacle is Gasol’s loyalty to Memphis. That apparently may not be in play anymore. In a recent interview with the Spanish site Balancesto, the former Defensive Player of the Year winner came forth with his intentions this offseason, saying that his only goal was finding a team that would give him a chance to win a championship.
“[Playing in the finals] is the goal that I have in the next contract I sign. What matters to me is the team, not the city and what it can offer.” (Translated from Spanish) Later in the same interview, Gasol brought up the Spurs. ““San Antonio is a model franchise and I’ve always admired Tim Duncan, but we’ll see [what happens] throughout the summer. “
“What matters to me is the team, not the city and what it can offer.”
This is great news for the Spurs, who were really just one piece away from being a championship caliber team once more this year. That piece may very well be an inside presence to work alongside Tim Duncan, especially one with the combination of bruising physicality and high basketball IQ that Marc Gasol has. It seems that one of the best big men in the NBA may very well be a viable option for San Antonio this summer.
So, the hypothetical. For one thing, don’t expect this to be a long term signing. Gasol’s entering the back nine of his career and he’s going hunting for trophies. Considering how many of the Spurs’ core players are aging veterans, he’ll probably only be looking for a two year commitment at most. The ideal contract for him would probably be a 2 year guarantee with a one year player option, so he can assess his surroundings and potentially go elsewhere in the short future.
If that deal (or something similar) works for both sides then the most probable Spurs starting lineup for next season would look like this:
PG Tony Paker PF Tim Duncan
SG Danny Green C Marc Gasol
That’s a five man lineup to be reckoned with. Positions 2-5 would all be excellent defenders at their positions, and each spot is stocked with a major offensive threat as well. Duncan and Gasol would even recreate the “Twin Towers” dynamic that David Robinson and Tim Duncan were famous for.
Gasol’s fluent off ball movement and very solid passing game would fit in the Spurs system like glue. The current offense wouldn’t have to fold a bit, it would only be better spaced out (due to Gasol’s range) and of course, score more points. Gasol’s also one of the NBA’s premier screen setters, something that the Spurs use to great value.
Ultimately the result would be one of the better defenses the NBA has ever seen and an offense with countless options. If Gasol is serious about his interest in the Spurs, you can bet that R.C. Buford reciprocates that. If it really happens, it’s going to change the landscape of the league out West in a way other front offices aren’t going to like.