Pau Gasol spoke of highly of the Grizzlies and hinted at interest at the Bulls and Spurs as well as a return to the Lakers in a Spanish-language video on Marca.com, as James Barrigan of the Los Angeles Times notes. The soon-to-be free agent big man said it’s difficult for him to envision signing with the Clippers, given their proximity to and rivalry with the Lakers, for whom Gasol has played the past six and a half seasons. Gasol nonetheless praised Clippers guard Chris Paul and said that he likes to play with the league’s best, naming LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Carmelo Anthony in addition to Paul.
Gasol said in December that the Grizzlies would be an “appealing” option given the presence of his brother, Marc Gasol, and he reiterated those comments to Marca.com, also citing the strength of the Memphis team that won 50 games this past season. The Grizzlies want to first see what happens with Zach Randolph, who has a nearly $17MM player option, but they still seem to have designs on pursuing Pau Gasol, who turns 34 in the summer. The Bulls reportedly have interest, too, as do the Cavs and Bobcats. There have been no indications that the Spurs want to go after him, but they’d certainly fit Gasol’s desire to play for a winner, and Gasol praised the team and Coach of the Year Gregg Popovich in his latest remarks.
The Arn Tellem client has had a checkered relationship with the Lakers in recent months, recently saying the team would have to make major changes if he’s to re-sign. He seemed to soften his stance in the wake of the resignation of Mike D’Antoni, with whom he’d feuded. Gasol said this week that he still considered himself a Laker, though he said the absence of D’Antoni would not be the determining factor in his decision whether to leave the club in free agency.
Gasol said in the Marca video that he hopes the Lakers will make him an offer strong enough for him to consider. He’ll surely have to take a pay cut from this season’s salary, which exceeded $19MM, but he reportedly has a decent chance to receive an offer worth $10MM a year.