The Mavs, Spurs, Knicks and Lakers are putting together proposals to make to Marc Gasol when free agency opens July 1st, multiple league sources tell Michael Wallace of ESPN.com. Not as much has been said about Dallas and Gasol as with the other apparent suitors, though it stands to reason that the Mavs, already linked to Aldridge and DeAndre Jordan, would cast their lot with another marquee free agent. The Spurs have long been identified as a team in the mix for the 30-year-old, though it appears the team will first make a pitch to LaMarcus Aldridge, who’s widely seen as more obtainable, before doing so with Gasol, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported Monday. The Knicks became pessimistic about their prospects of landing the Spanish center late last year, a notion that former Knick and current Gasol teammate Beno Udrih recently reinforced, though it appears that they, like the Lakers, will give it a try.
Gasol has been mum on his plans, though he’s made his affection for the city of Memphis clear while not ruling out any other potential destination. The Grizzlies fear the Spurs more than any other team in the hunt, according to Stein, but the majority of Gasol’s teammates believe he will re-sign, Wallace writes, and Memphis coach Dave Joerger thinks he’s largely made the decision already, as Wallace relays.
“He’s the best player at his position in the league,” Joerger said. “You make preparations if it goes in a direction you’re not happy about. You’re not going to lose sleep at night. It’s not going to do any good. He’s going to do what he’s going to do. Not in the next two weeks are we going to send him a big thing of flowers and it’s going to change his mind. [By then], the cement is dry. We’ll make our last, ‘Hey, this is what’s important to us. What’s important to you?’ Things of that nature. But I’ve got to think his mind is 99% made up.”
Dallas has about $28MM in guaranteed salary against a projected $67.1MM salary cap for next season, but Raymond Felton is reportedly opting in for more than $3.95MM and Monta Ellis can pick up an $8.72MM player option, too. That would still leave flexibility for an estimated $19MM max starting salary for Gasol, a seven-year veteran, but it wouldn’t leave much room for the team to address the point guard position, where Rajon Rondo is unlikely to return.