Knicks rumors now include Pau Gasol as a possible acquisition. While many New York Knicks trade rumors have come up in the past week, a player that makes a lot of sense for the team is Gasol. A report from the New York Post states that he could be the perfect mentor for rookie Kristaps Porzingis and offer added depth in the front court.
Another reason it is easy to link Pau Gasol to the New York Knicks is that his former coach (Phil Jackson) is now the president of the team. It might have been easier to entice Gasol to come to New York if former teammate Derek Fisher was still the head coach, but Jackson decided it was time to go in a different direction. Could that new direction soon include Gasol as part of a trade or as a free agent signing?
This isn’t the first time that Knicks rumors have linked the team to Gasol. Jackson tried to sign him during the 2014 NBA offseason, but only had a contract exception of $3.5 million to offer him. It wasn’t even close to some of the offers that Gasol was offered, leading to him signing elsewhere. Gasol signed with the Chicago Bulls, making the Eastern Conference All-Star team in each of his first two seasons there.
With the Bulls, Gasol has averaged 33.4 minutes a night in 127 games. His seasonal averages are 18.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.9 blocks per game. Those numbers are as good as Gasol was putting up when he played for the LA Lakers and Phil Jackson. The three-year deal, worth about $22 million, has been a huge one for the Bulls. In the NBA offseason, though, Gasol can opt out of the deal and become a free agent again.
The Chicago Bulls are in a precarious position right now, which is why Pau Gasol’s name is popping up in New York Knicks trade rumors. The team is dealing with severe injuries to Joakim Noah and Jimmy Butler, while not getting the same output from point guard Derrick Rose. The team could be in trouble in the 2016 NBA Playoffs, possibly giving the front office an incentive to deal some assets before the NBA trade deadline. One of those assets could be Gasol if the Bulls don’t plan on offering him an expensive contract in free agency.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the Chicago Bulls have stated a readiness to offer Pau Gasol as much as $20 million per year during the NBA offseason. This could be an overstatement to show Gasol how much the team wants him to stay, but also to increase his value on the market as the NBA trade deadline approaches. If Gasol does decide to opt out of his deal with the Bulls, teams like the New York Knicks are surely going to be ready with a free agent offer. It could easily lead to Gasol playing for a new franchise, unless, of course, the Bulls offer the most money.
The Bulls have dropped into seventh place in the East (27-25), putting the team at real risk of missing the 2016 NBA Playoffs. The Bulls are just one game ahead of the ninth-place Detroit Pistons, showing how it could be a problem to retain Pau Gasol only to lose him in free agency. If the Bulls don’t plan to re-sign Gasol, then these New York Knicks trade rumors could lead to something. Would the Knicks trade for him if he commits to the option next year? Or will the Knicks simply wait till the NBA offseason to offer a bigger contract?
[Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for Children’s Hospital Los Angeles]