Pau Gasol is a very good NBA player who has produced a great career to date. He has one of the most complete post-up skillsets the league has ever seen, and a competitive tenacity that championship-level players must have. Along with everything he puts on the stat sheet, he is a guy that basketball purists like to watch.
It looks like Gasol is on his way out of Los Angeles, where he won two NBA championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, and it goes without saying that he would be an excellent addition to just about any team in the league, including the Dallas Mavericks. While he would be a great addition, however, he may not be what the Mavericks need.
Gasol represents the same European style of play employed by Mavericks great Dirk Nowitzki. They operate in many of the same areas of the floor, with Nowitzki’s tendency to stretch the floor to the 3-point line as the one exception. They both utilize finesse over anything else to accomplish their offensive goals.
The list of similarities between the two could go on and on, but the ultimate point is this: Nowitzki and Gasol as a forward-center combination is not likely to put the Mavericks over the top.
The Mavericks need to make additions that will keep opposing players out of the paint. They need size and athleticism waiting at the rim for opposing players trying to create opportunities for layups and dunks. Gasol is a capable one-on-one defender in the post area, but he has never been confused as a defensive anchor capable of making an entire team better on the defensive end.
Gasol offers great value on the offensive end. His array of post moves, mid-range jump shooting, and interior passing makes him capable of registering 20 points or more on a nightly basis, but the Mavericks don’t have a problem with scoring. Dallas hung its hat on offense during the 2013-14 season. The team played beautiful offensive basketball, but struggled mightily on the other end of the floor. Gasol is not going to change that.
He would be a good signing for the team and it would be outrageous to say that he doesn’t have anything to offer a team like the Mavericks, but it’s not outrageous to say he doesn’t offer the things Dallas needs to find in order to step up as championship contenders.
If Gasol ends up in Dallas, fans of the organization will not be upset, but they should not expect deep trip in next year’s postseason if that’s the only addition made to the roster.
Brian Ogle is a Dallas Mavericks columnist for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @TheOgle.