Free agency is just about to actively kick off and there will be plenty of rumor and speculation until players and franchises put pen to paper and remove themselves from the equation. One name that has already garnered some attention by the Oklahoma City Thunder is Pau Gasol.
The Los Angeles Lakers power forward could be looking for a new home and would likely try and position himself on a championship contender as he plays out the last remaining years of his stellar career. While the Lakers have to still be in the box seat to re-sign him, there are reports that he will indeed look at some options and hold a few meetings – one of which will be with the Thunder.
It seems highly unlikely that the Thunder would be able to secure the services of the Spaniard, but you never say never when you have Sam Presti at the wheel and a roster loaded with talent that came just shy of another NBA Finals appearance.
Gasol has been previously linked to the Memphis Grizzlies to go and play with his brother, but after the Grizz and Zach Randolph came to terms on a contract extension, that seems rather unlikely.
The Thunder not only have the talent to contend for a championship, they are also able to offer a full mid-level exception. While that would be a HUGE paycut for someone like Gasol who made $19mil with the Lakers last season, it might be enough to sway the forward into signing. The feeling is that market value for Gasol will be around the $8 – $10mil mark so the Thunder would be well behind the benchmark in terms of offer, but other places like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Golden State are arguably further back in their quest for a ring than the Thunder are.
Then there is the secret weapon – Serge Ibaka. Known for his defense, this might be the time for Ibaka to go on the offensive and recruit his Spanish National Team teammate.
A solid role in the low post, the chance to play with a young and talented group, still make decent money and potentially win an NBA Championship while mentoring young Steven Adams and Mitch McGary. Sounds like a pretty nice situation to find yourself in.