According to sources from around the league, it is very unlikely that Pau Gasol, who turns 36 in July, will re-sign his $7.7 million player option with the Chicago Bulls after a tumultuous 2015-16 campaign. But there's a huge gap between not signing with his current team, and coming to San Antonio.
Unexpectedly bridging that gap is Pau's brother Marc Gasol, who let a few bombs drop in a conversation with Peter Edmeston, who covers the Grizzlies and has a radio show on WHBQ in Memphis:
Marc Gasol: "My advice to Pau, at his age with the things he cares about, not that (we've talked); my advice would be to go to San Antonio."— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) April 25, 2016
Marc Gasol, on why Pau should sign w/ SA: "The way (the Spurs) manage everything, they way they work as a franchise from top to bottom..."— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) April 25, 2016
Remarkable to me that Marc advised Pau to sign with San Antonio. He was not joking. Never seen a player advise another to sign with a rival.— Peter Edmiston (@peteredmiston) April 25, 2016
With the San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan reaching the end of his career -- and possibly in the midst of his own farewell tour -- another unselfish, play-making seven footer could be welcome in San Antonio.
Gasol averaged 16.5 points and 11.0 rebounds for the Bulls last season. What stands out most on his stat line, is the 4.1 assists per game he contributed. San Antonio prides themselves on ball movement, and getting players to slash to the basket for high percentage shots. Gasol could help fill the void left by Tim Duncan, and help sustain the Spurs alongside Aldridge and Leonard for another 2-3 years.
If the Spurs pursue Gasol in free agency, this would make it two summers in a row where they went after a highly coveted free agent. Something unheard of, for a team that has consistently built through the draft over the past two decades of success.
Imagining a smooth transition after Duncan and Manu Ginobili retire was not something Spurs' fans were entirely sure about. Thanks to R.C. Buford and Gregg Popovich, it may very well happening.