By Joseph Crevier @JosephMCrevier on May 10, 2014
It's no secret Los Angeles Lakers star, Pau Gasol, will test his options in free agency this summer. Luckily, Gasol will likely have plenty of teams inquiring about him as he can still be a very valuable asset to a championship-contending team. Although one would expect the Lakers to have an advantage in this decision, Gasol has publicly stated numerous times he must put all emotional aspects aside while weighing his options.
Pau Gasol reportedy mentioned the Los Angeles Clippers as a possible destination this summer, however signing there would be a head-scratcher. First and foremost, Gasol would be required to take a massive pay cut in order to make any deal possible with the Clippers. Secondly, he would basically be a permanent bench forward because neither DeAndre Jordan nor Blake Griffin are getting benched anytime soon.
Again, another team which would make sense if the only thing Gasol has in mind is a championship. Signing in San Antonio would likely result in minimal playing time unless Tim Duncan ends up calling it a career this summer. If that is the case, San Antonio would be a perfect fit for the Spaniard and a viable short-term replacement for Duncan. I see this happening only if Duncan is no longer a member of the team.
Playing alongside his brother, Marc Gasol, has been a longtime dream for Pau Gasol mainly because the duo is absolutely deadly on the Spanish National Team. Also, reuniting with the team that drafted him would be intriguing, but let's not forget Zach Randolph will be under contract. Unless, Memphis decides to trade Randolph, Gasol to Memphis is not likely. Memphis could use the offensive help though.
Ultimately remaining a member of the Lakers would almost be the ideal situation for both sides. The Lakers could use the inside presence and mentoring for younger players, while Gasol would remain in a familiar place with familiar faces in Kobe Bryant, Robert Sacre, etc. Depending on the salary Los Angeles offers and possibly the inclusion of a no-trade clause, Gasol may sway back towards staying put to ride out his career.
Carlos Boozer is key to any deal between the Chicago Bulls and Pau Gasol occurring. Chicago is rumored to be aggressively shopping Boozer, but if no deal can be made, the amnesty provision appears to be Boozer's fate. Gasol will be trailing Carmelo Anthony as the top priority this offseason for Bulls' management. The team is in desperate need of an offensive presence and both Anthony and Gasol can fill that weakness.
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