Even though the 2016 NBA playoffs are now in full swing, rumors regarding Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol and his upcoming free agency destination are heating up. Gasol, who is the older brother of Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, will turn 36-years-old before the start of the 2016-2017 season. While Gasol’s age has to be a concern for any potential suitors, he is still an extremely effective player. He is no longer the star player that he once was with the Los Angeles Lakers, but he did average a solid 16.5 points per game, 11 rebounds per game, and two blocks per game this past season. Gasol’s decision has not yet been made, but the latest rumors believe that he could leave the Bulls and sign with the San Antonio Spurs.
As Ronald Tillery of Sports56 reports, Marc thinks that his brother should sign with the Spurs.
While that is only his brother’s opinion, it does make a lot for sense for Gasol. Since Pau only has a few years, at the most, left in the NBA, his goal is to win another championship. While the Bulls always have the potential to make a run, the health and production of Derrick Rose is unreliable at this point in time. And even if Rose does start looking like his former self, the odds of the Bulls having a real chance at winning the championship next season are not great.
After finishing with a regular season record of 67-15, the Spurs quietly had one of the best seasons in NBA history. If it were not for the Golden State Warriors and their magical year, the Spurs would be the team that every analyst and talking head would be raving over. Regardless of the media attention, this kind of production is exactly what everyone has come to expect from the Spurs.
Led by head coach Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan, the Spurs have been the most consistent team in the NBA in recent years. While most great teams only last a few seasons, the Spurs have been title contenders every year for nearly 20 years. Even though Duncan’s days are numbered, LaMarcus Aldridge and Kawhi Leonard will ensure that the Spurs remain competitive for the foreseeable future.
While they do not actually list the Spurs as a destination, Fansided explains what Gasol is going to be looking for in his next team.
“And while Gasol would never tip his hand to the press regarding his future plans, especially not midseason, it’s still worth wondering whether this could be his last season in a Chicago uniform. Gasol chose the Bulls because he wanted to play on a title contender and because he wanted to go where he was wanted. For too many years the Spanish big man found his name buzzing amidst trade rumors as a Laker, so it made sense that he went to a storied franchise where his efforts would be acknowledged and respected. This past winter, however, Gasol once again was dangled as trade bait, and while the feeling must have been familiar, it most likely didn’t sit well with a veteran player who can now exercise that option this summer and find a new home where he’ll once again be appreciated.”
And San Antonio makes perfect sense for Gasol. While the Spurs have a lot of great players, they win by playing team basketball. Since Gasol has never needed to dominate the basketball in order to be effective, he would fit in perfectly with Popovich’s offense. Considering the Spurs are also one of the deepest teams in the league, Gasol would not be asked to carry the load that he has had in the past. Additionally, Popovich routinely allows the older players to sit out games in order to recharge and remain healthy.
A lot is going to change over the next few months, but rumors will likely continue to link the San Antonio Spurs with Chicago Bulls forward Pau Gasol. If winning another championship is really Gasol’s main objective, there is no better team than the Spurs.
[Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images]