When Paul Gasol declined the player option with the Chicago Bulls, he gave out a message to teams in the NBA that he wants a solid offer with secured tenure and a chance to play in the postseason. With the free agency still open, rumors are swirling that teams such as the Bulls, Spurs and Timberwolves are now trying to lay down options for Gasol to choose from.
The bidding wars to secure Gasol have officially already started and the Bulls wanted to re-sign their veteran center despite Gasol’s early statement that he is no longer interested in re-signing with them. However, the Bulls are definitely not on the list where Gasol wants to play for next season. The 35-year old Spaniard has made that perfectly clear when he declined the $7.77 million with the Bulls to become an unrestricted free agent. So definitely Gasol has no intentions of coming back to the Bulls despite any offer from them.
Following up on that @ramonashelburne tweet: Lots of noise out there about Portland putting a two-year, $40 million offer down to Pau Gasol.
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 3, 2016
The more possibility that Gasol will sign up with is with the San Antonio Spurs. He has been an option for the Spurs if they could not land Kevin Durant to sign with them this summer. Adding the fact that Tim Duncan might decide to retire before the new season starts, having a veteran center who could also blend in with the system of Gregg Popovich would be a welcome idea for the Spurs. Gasol is looking at signing with the Spurs to the tune of $18 to $22 million a year that is if the plan with Durant fails and Duncan retires.
The market for Pau Gasol appears to be around $18-22 million/year. Raptors, Bulls, Blazers, Wolves, Spurs among… https://t.co/pGoIbFNZy2
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) July 3, 2016
Durant has stated that he will give his decision on which team he would play on the 4th of July and that will really cause a domino effect on teams which has wanted his services ever since free agency began. The Spurs are stated to be in the top list of that as well.
Gasol waiting for Durant's decision indicates to me that the Spurs are his first choice.
San Antonio will probably get either Pau or KD.
— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) July 3, 2016
Other teams that want a go with Gasol are the Minnesota Timberwolves and Portland Trailblazers, which are rumored to offer Gasol an identical two-year $40 million contract. The Timberwolves are backing that president and coach Tom Thibodeau would be able to lure Gasol to a possible reunion in Minnesota while the Trailblazers wants Gasol to fortify their lineup in the center position.
Kevin Durant's free agency is here
— Tom Petrini (@RealTomPetrini) June 30, 2016
The 15-year veteran has his ups and downs with injuries but has always managed to reinvent his basketball skills as he managed to post an average of 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game with the Bulls this season. Gasol is also looking at a possible team wherein he could play towards the twilight of his career. But as of the moment, he wants to enjoy the sport he loves as he has become as sought after free agent this summer.
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