Pau Gasol returning to the Los Angeles Lakers is unlikely. The 33-year-old did not seem pleased with the direction of the team when discussing his impending free agency two months ago. When free agency begins on July 1, plenty of teams will be interested in Gasol. The Dallas Mavericks are one of them.
According to Tim MacMahon and Marc Stein of ESPN.com, the Mavericks are looking to upgrade at center and consider Gasol to be one of the better options. Gasol, who turns 34 next month, made $19.3 million with the Lakers last season. The amount of suitors he has will depend on his willingness to take a significant pay cut.
In a post on his personal blog back in April, Gasol said money will not be the most important factor for him in choosing where to sign.
“Money isn’t important to me,” he wrote. “I have other priorities. A contract lasting several seasons, the make-up of the team that signs me: I’ll need to think long and hard. I won’t just go to the franchise that offers me the biggest salary, I know that.”
Other options for the Mavs would include Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat, but the Wizards are well under the salary cap and would be in a good position to keep the 29-year-old if they want to keep their 2013-2014 playoff team together. Exploring a trade with the New York Knicks that involves Tyson Chandler is also a possibility.
The Mavericks have around $30 million in cap space. They are among the teams interested in Carmelo Anthony, and signing him would not leave enough space for Gasol. In that sense, Gasol is probably considered Plan B at this point — albeit a more realistic Plan B.Google+