In a case of the rich getting richer, there appears to be strong indications that Pau Gasol would sign with the San Antonio Spurs as a free agent this offseason.
This rumor is continuing to be fueled not by inside sources like his brother Marc, but by Pau himself.
Jeff Garcia of Spurs Zone had a fascinating story about Gasol’s free agent leanings. Gasol seemed intrigued by the idea of heading to the Lone Star State to join a perennial championship contender.
“The Spurs would be an interesting option for me,” admitted Gasol.
The logistics of this deal are the next area that would need to be addressed if the two parties were to actually make progress towards Gasol joining the Spurs this summer.
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David West set a powerful precedent just this last offseason by forfeiting millions of dollars from the Indiana Pacers to sign with the Spurs for the veteran’s minimum.
The Gasol situation is slightly different. The Chicago Bulls don’t seem like they’re interested in retaining Gasol when he officially opts out of his contract, making it likely that he’ll be a heavily pursued option for teams looking for front court players in free agency.
Whether the Spurs can offer Gasol more than the veteran’s minimum (or whether he’d accept a discounted deal) remains to be seen.
Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili retiring would free up some cap space, and perhaps that money could be used to sign Gasol if need be.
When West opted out of his deal with the Pacers, he did so for what seemed like disillusionment with Indiana’s title chances. He appeared to fit into the Pacers’ future plans from their point of view, which made the split much more unexpected.
Gasol realizes that he’s likely to play for a new team next season. The real question is what team that’s going to be.
A big selling point for the Spurs would be to win the championship. Key free agents are attracted to the Spurs not because of the big market they play in or off-the-court endorsement opportunities, but because of their winning culture and selfless attitude towards success as a team.
What better way to hammer home that message than to win a title this season by utilizing their trademark team-oriented philosophy to vanquish any opponent that stands in their way.
The Spurs will look drastically different next season if guys like Duncan and Ginobili decide to retire. The addition of Gasol could help ease the transition the Spurs make into their new era without Duncan and Ginobili.