Pau Gasol will hit free agency without looking back this summer.
Not only should this be his last multi year contract, but he needs to find a place where he can fit right in and win, but that won’t be in Chicago. Gasol has all but abandoned ship from the Windy City, looking for a new home and likely his last destination before calling it a career. He still has skills to offer, along with experience and a high basketball IQ. So what could be his best move?
Marc Gasol put some thought into it for his older brother and recommended that he sign with the San Antonio Spurs. The Spurs would be the perfect team for someone with Gasol’s skill set, but they have a sleuth of bigs already on the roster. There is Tim Duncan, Lamarcus Aldridge, Boris Diaw, and Boban Marjanovic. It’s not unfair to say Gasol can play alongside any of those guys.
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The younger Gasol was quoted by Spanish site Baloncesto saying:
For what the franchise represents,By the way they work, how they treat their players, their winning culture: no matter what they follow a defined course and do not change.
There is a great possibility for changes in San Antonio .
Duncan may retire, West says he will opt out to sign elsewhere, Diaw insists the Spurs tell him they want him back, but is that a guarantee? Marjanovic also wants to re-sign with the Spurs, but it’s not yet known if they plan on keeping him long term.
Those variables at least open the possibility of Pau making a permanent trip to San Antonio. Not only for his character, but his skills and personality are all dead ringers for what the Spurs’ culture and organization is about.
Gasol would bring in much needed length and rebounding. He averaged 11 rebounds per game last season, and that’s always a welcome addition. He also gives you a solid mid range game as well as being able to play in the post. Gasol is also a good passing big
Apr 5, 2016; Memphis, TN, USA; Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol (16) shoots as Memphis Grizzlies forward JaMychal Green (0) defends in the second quarter at FedExForum. Mandatory Credit: Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports
man, which is something key to playing the Spurs’ way. He doesn’t have a need to be the alpha dog in town and loves to play in a team concept.
The only issue with all of this is that the Spurs are looking to get younger and more athletic, which Pau doesn’t qualify for. NBA basketball, with all of its rule changes, is speeding up because it has gravitated towards being a guard’s game. Gasol doesn’t have an issue playing in today’s NBA, but he should not be expected to be the first or second scoring option.
Thankfully the Spurs have Aldridge, who happens to have a similar skillset but doesn’t rebound as well.
Make no mistake, if the Spurs choose Gasol as one of their big men for this summer, even if it means losing one of the guys they had last season, his impact will be overall positive, barring injuries. Gasol is a smart veteran player who knows what it takes to win a championship.
Gregg Popovich knows very well what Gasol is capable of after countless battles against him when he was with the Los Angeles Lakers. The Spurs could’ve used his skill in the heartbreaking series against the Thunder.
Not only does he respect Gasol, but knows exactly where he would fit within the team. If Duncan does indeed retire this season, there isn’t a better player to fit right into his spot for the time being.