As NBA free agency nears, Marc Gasol’s recent comments have once again started rumors swirling of a potential free agency connection between Pau Gasol and the San Antonio Spurs. Of course, even without Marc’s comments, Pau heading to the Spurs makes sense. San Antonio will boast one of the best chances to win the NBA Finals next season, something Gasol clearly values. Additionally, Gasol’s professionalism and unselfishness make him a perfect fit on the Spurs.
In the past season, Gasol demonstrated no signs of regression, even though he is now 35-years-old. This past season with the Chicago Bulls, Gasol averaged 18.7 points and a career-high 12.5 rebounds per 36 minutes. He continued his ability to knock down jumpers, shooting 45.2 percent from long-range two pointers according to Basketball-Reference. He also tallied the second-highest assist percentage of his career at 21.7 percent per Basketball-Reference.
Now, with Gasol entering another free agent summer, his brother Marc has freely expressed his thoughts on the situation with As. When asked about his thoughts on the Spurs and if San Antonio was still the best option for his brother, Pau, Marc once again indicated his support for the Spurs.
“I think so. What the franchise represents, how the franchise works, how the club treats the players, the winning culture.”
Marc’s comments are certainly not any sort of new idea. Pau, of course, was linked to the Spurs two offseasons ago, when he was an unrestricted free agent after his deal with the Los Angeles Lakers concluded. In the end, he chose to sign with the Chicago Bulls. However, as CBS Sports describes, Gasol’s skills always seem to fit in San Antonio.
“Imagine for a second Pau Gasol operating in the San Antonio Spurs’ beautiful offense, throwing over-the-shoulder passes to cutters and daring teams to double-team him in the post. It almost happened a couple of years ago, but Gasol chose to join the Chicago Bulls. In retrospect that seems like a mistake, but he can rectify it in July as a free agent.”
Gasol’s skills do fit right in with San Antonio, especially if David West chooses to explore other options in free agency. There is also a chance Tim Duncan retires, meaning that Gasol could be find himself in a starting role as well. Even if Duncan returns, Gasol would receive ample amount of playing time in the frontcourt. There have been rumors of Boris Diaw being on the trade block, and Gasol was much more productive this past season. Furthermore, head coach Gregg Popovich has done a tremendous job of limiting players’ minutes over the years to extend their career, and he could do wonders for the aging Gasol.
Furthermore, the Spurs will be able to give their full attention to bringing outsiders to San Antonio this summer. West is the only major piece on last season’s roster who may not be under contract, something that could help the Spurs land another free agent this summer.
Ultimately, San Antonio will be linked to multiple free agents, including the likes of Mike Conley and Kevin Durant. However, if the Spurs have to settle for a bit less, Gasol will certainly be near the top of their list. If the Spurs are able to land Gasol, that would make two notable free agents in the last two seasons who chose San Antonio and the opportunity to play with Kawhi Leonard. Last offseason, the Spurs were able to land LaMarcus Aldridge, the most coveted free agent of the summer. Now, San Antonio will look to Gasol, who could provide relief to a team that struggled to get over the hump in the 2016 playoffs.
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