Charlotte Hornets a Great Potential Fit For Pau Gasol
Two-time NBA Champion Pau Gasol will be looking to land a spot on some teams’ roster next season. Despite losing Kobe Bryant to injuries, Gasol finished with a pretty decent season, averaging 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds. His statistics would probably be overlooked after finishing with one of the worst seasons in Los Angeles Lakers history (27-55). Many rumors are scattered across headlines that the Lakers were looking to move Gasol not one, not two but three times in the past three seasons. Gasol has had his troubles over the past few years — mostly because of the departure of the triangle system — but he is still a premier player in this league. All he needs is the right system and another low post player who shares some of the same capabilities as Gasol. The Charlotte Hornets will be the right destination for him
With an expired Josh McRoberts, the Hornets will be looking to either re-sign him or see if they can splash another big name on the roster this summer. Gasol and McRoberts share some of the same qualities and are known to be oversized point guards because of their ability to distribute the ball very well. These two players are a coach’s dream, but having Gasol will have much more impact on head coach Steve Clifford’s’ system next season and Al Jefferson. Just think of it as getting an upgraded version of McRoberts with much more experience and leadership.
Gasol’s ability to stretch the floor could bring a lot of attention off Jefferson and help create more opportunities for the backcourt. With coach Clifford looking to strengthen the pick-and-roll next season, Gasol fits that mold because he can force the defense to honor his ability to knock down mid-range jumpers with at least some efficiency — in some cases from long range too. Along with that, he is also one of the best free-throw shooters at the frontcourt positions. Scoring without the clock moving is critical — especially late in close games. With Jefferson on the other block in the paint, it would look similar to the Lakers’ system when Andrew Bynum and Gasol were teammates. As a result, they were considered one of the most dominant duo forces in the paint. Maybe Gasol can equip Charlotte with that same appraisal.
On the defensive side, he could be considered somewhat of a defensive specialist, averaging 1.5 blocks last season. This plays in very well for a Charlotte team that ranked fourth in defense last season and ranked in the top-ten most of the season. That will definitely be a step forward for Charlotte, considering the fact that McRoberts was only averaging 0.6 blocks last season.
With all of the on the court attributes that Gasol can provide, one important aspect that can be utilize is his leadership — especially for a young team like Charlotte. With the 12-year veteran approaching 34 this July, Charlotte will not have Gasol for a long period of time. This could be a perfect opportunity for the Hornets to allow him to work closely and nurture upcoming sophomore center Cody Zeller.