In the next 24 hours, we may learn what Tim Duncan plans to do — come back to the Spurs for one more run, or opt out (which doesn’t necessarily mean retirement, it just means he’d need a new contract to come back). Whatever he and Manu Ginobili decide (Manu has already opted out of his deal), the Spurs are set for the future with a core of Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
How about Pau Gasol instead? They are interested, Adrian Wojnarowski said on the latest Vertical Podcast with Chris Mannix (which you should be listening to).
“I’m told that Pau Gasol is a real priority for (the Spurs). They tried to get him before he signed with Chicago. The Bulls were able to offer him a little bit more than the mid-level that year, I think the Spurs had a mid-level for him. They can maneuver in San Antonio and probably be able to offer him market value. We’ll see what that’s going to be.”
Even at age 36, Gasol is still efficient, averaging 16.5 points and 11 rebounds a game last season as an All-Star for the Bulls. Gasol’s high IQ game where he can operate in the low or high post would be a great fit for the Spurs. He’d have to accept a team-first role — if Duncan returns that would meaning coming in off the bench — and know he is option three (likely with extra touches with the second unit), but Gasol would accept that.
Pau’s brother Marc Gasol has said Pau should go to San Antonio. Which was the worst recruiting pitch to get Pau back to Memphis ever, but Pau has agreed and thinks the Spurs are interesting. It’s easy to envision Gasol in the Spurs offense. It makes a lot of sense.
Of course, it will all come down to money. And fit. And whether Gasol — a very urban guy — wants to play for a few years in a smaller, southern city again. But if Popovich sits down with Pau, cracks open a nice bottle of Cabernet, and talks hoops, the deal may be sealed. It’s easy to picture happening.