This is about as big a surprise as Beyoncé knocking it out of the park at the BET Awards. Like you expected anything else.
Pau Gasol, after a season of being frustrated with the Bulls, their direction, and their new coach, has opted out and will be a free agent, reports Marc Stein of ESPN.
Gasol will have options, and that includes the New York Knicks and Phil Jackson, who are said to be interested (and are in need of a center after moving Robin Lopez in the Derrick Rose trade). The Spurs also reportedly are interested.
Gasol put up numbers for the Bulls — 16.5 points and 11 rebounds a game — but the question becomes what kind of decline in production can be expected from a 36-year-old. He still has great post moves, he can still pass, he is still high IQ, and he is still fairly efficient on offense. However, he’s a liability at the defensive end.
Gasol needs to balance his desire to win another ring with where he wants to live (Gasol likes large, metropolitan cities). And, of course, there is the money factor.
About the only thing we can say for sure about Gasol’s free agency is that there is no way he’s going back to the Bulls.