SATURDAY, 12:13am: The Lakers made a pair of offers to Gasol prior to today that were even higher than the two-year, $10MM figure Wojnarowski cited, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link). They were worth $23MM over two years and $29MM over three years, and Gasol rejected them both.
FRIDAY, 11:05pm: According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link), the top two contenders for Gasol are the Bulls and the Spurs. If the Bulls can’t work out a sign and trade with Lakers, it’s likely he goes to Spurs, notes Shelburne.
10:00pm: If Gasol ends up in Chicago, it’s unlikely to be as part of a sign-and-trade with Los Angeles for Boozer, tweets Wojnarowski.
7:40pm: The Hawks are making an aggressive pitch for Gasol, tweets Wojnarowski. Atlanta is reportedly offering $11MM per year, but Gasol will likely pass on the offer, adds Wojnarowski.
FRIDAY, 5:47pm: Gasol has turned down a two-year, $10MM per year deal with the Lakers, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (Twitter link).
10:33am: Gasol met Wednesday night with Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak, tweets Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports.
THURSDAY, 8:15am: The Spurs are moving closer to the front of the pack for Gasol, Wojnarowski tweets. The Bulls remain a favorite, as Wojnarowski suggests, and sources indicated to K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune that the Bulls hope to pursue a sign-and-trade with the Lakers involving Gasol and Carlos Boozer. It’s unlikely that the Bulls would give Gasol a deal longer than three years, Johnson adds.
TUESDAY, 2:16pm: The Knicks aren’t entirely out of the running for Gasol, but they’re way behind the Bulls, Thunder and Lakers, a source tells Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). The Spurs are on the “periphery,” Berger adds.
1:55pm: The Bulls and Thunder remain the front-runners for Pau Gasol, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports (on Twitter), but Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com conflicts that report as far as the Thunder go, hearing that Oklahoma City believes it merely has a long shot hope for the free agent big man (Twitter link). The Lakers are “lurking” as a possibility for Gasol while the Spurs continue to forge ahead with their pursuit, Wojnarowski adds.
The Yahoo! scribe identified the Bulls and Thunder as Gasol’s most favored destinations late last week, and the 34-year-old met Monday with Thunder coach Scott Brooks. Confusion over Oklahoma City’s standing in the race for Gasol isn’t new, as multiple reports painted different pictures last week. In any case, it seems that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook have also been recruiting the Arn Tellem client, as Marc Stein of ESPN.com reported last week.
The Bulls have pitched Gasol on the idea that he would start for them, while the Lakers have used the notion that he’ll be back with them next season as part of their recruiting efforts with other free agents, confident he’d return if they can sign Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James. The Spurs envision signing him for the $5.305MM mid-level exception, and Gasol would reportedly consider San Antonio if he decides to sign for less than he could receive elsewhere. The Thunder also appear to be in the mix at the mid-level unless they can work a sign-and-trade, but the Bulls might be able to offer more if they amnesty Carlos Boozer, and the Lakers hold his Bird rights.