Apart from Carmelo Anthony, the New York Knicks’ top target this offseason has been Pau Gasol, the former Los Angeles Lakers big man who still has yet to tip his hand on what the future may hold for him. As the signing period of free agency gets under way, though, the Knicks appear to be making a serious push to bring Gasol to the Big Apple.
During a press conference this morning, Jackson told reporters that he had contacted Gasol about signing with the Knicks.
Phil says the team obviously doesn’t have the same money to offer someone like Pau Gasol, but hopes his ties w him help in that process.
— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) July 10, 2014
While Gasol could obviously get more money elsewhere after having received interest from the Lakers, Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder, the veteran big man might see signing with his former head coach as a smart move for his future. He and Jackson have a long-standing relationship, and both understand that a renewed relationship would be equally beneficial for both parties.
The only thing that really stands in the way of Gasol signing with the Knicks – apart from money – is that they aren’t considered contenders at this point in time. They’re in full-on rebuild mode even with Anthony expected to re-sign shortly. With a redone front office and roster still in desperate need of improvement, the Knicks might not have enough to sway the aging Gasol away from contenders such as the Bulls or Thunder.
However, if there’s one thing that can help Gasol overlook those issues, it’s Jackson. The man is an NBA legend, and obviously makes any team he’s in control of significantly better. Gasol’s familiarity with new head coach Derek Fisher also helps.
It’s seems overly optimistic, but one of Jackson’s speeches might just be enough to bring Gasol to New York.