The Warriors were among the teams also expressing interest in Gasol, but it sounds as if they’re no longer in the mix. The Mavericks also aren’t considered a probable destination anymore, Charania adds, noting that Dallas had been in the running up until now (Twitter link).
The Raptors hold Gasol’s Bird rights and are well positioned to offer him a lucrative one-year deal for 2020/21. Toronto should be especially motivated to bring back its starting center, having lost Serge Ibaka to the Clippers. If both Gasol and Ibaka depart, 2019 second-rounder Dewan Hernandez would be the only center under contract for the Raptors, since their other big man – Chris Boucher – is a restricted free agent.
While the Raptors can offer Gasol more money for next season, the Lakers are working the marketplace to try to find a way to improve their offer, per Charania. For the time being, they’d be limited to the veteran’s minimum, since they’ve already signed Wesley Matthews using the bi-annual exception and intend to use the full mid-level exception to Montrezl Harrell.
If the Lakers can shed some salary – and if the Raptors or Clippers are willing to cooperate – a sign-and-trade deal for either Gasol or Harrell could help keep the MLE open for the other. Los Angeles is exploring trading away JaVale McGee and his $4.2MM cap hit, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.
Should the Lakers snatch Gasol away from Toronto, the Raptors may shift their attention to a Lakers free agent, according to Stein, who reports (via Twitter) that Toronto has “strong interest” in forward Markieff Morris.