I know the Spurs season isn't over, but Pau's is, and he's starting to look toward which team he'll sign with. I always love free agency/trade speculations, so if this is post is premature for you, just move along, nothing to see here. ;)
Pau has mentioned that despite our Western conference rivalry, he would be receptive to signing with the Spurs.
"The Spurs players maybe don’t rack up statistics, but the team and the coach they have, to me, seems like a very good option," he said. "In the end, I’m more interested in a team than an individual player and how I would adjust and be worked into a system."
As Pau states he's interested in a "team" more than an individual, would he be be willing to come off the bench for the Spurs? Admittedly, a bench with Ginobili and Gasol would rival some starting lineups so that may help in his consideration.
But where will his minutes come from? If we went for Gasol, I would assume Baynes would walk with Ayres still under contract. But what to do with Diaw? His contract also is up for renewal this summer, is it possible to have a Duncan, Splitter, Diaw, Gasol big man team with a sprinkle of Ayres?
I think we're all in agreement Duncan/Splitter as starters and Diaw/Gasol on the bench sounds pretty awesome, but can we afford it? Resigning Mills for $3-4 million sounds reasonable, as it does for Diaw (he is currently making a little over $4 million). The problem is, I could see him going a little higher and the Spurs realistically have roughly $10 million in cap space to play with. Gasol has said he's not solely motivated by the money on his next contract, but what kind of pay cut is he willing to take to sign with the Spurs? He is currently the 8th highest paid player in the league earning $19,285,850 is he willing to halve that or more? He's made plenty of money over his 13 year career, but couple the pay cut with being relegated to the bench may make it a tough pill to swallow.
Personally, I would like to see him in S.A., but logistically it may be hard to do unless Holt is willing to take on the tax burden. We'll have tons of financial flexibility the following year, so maybe in theory we could do a $4 million offer next year and bump it to $12 million giving him $16 million for two years. I know the Spurs don't like back ended contracts like that, but it could be in the best interest of the ending of the Big 3 era.