And why not? He seemed happy in San Antonio, and his $16,197,500 salary would likely be more than the soon-to-be 37-year-old would get elsewhere.
But Gasol has apparently had a change of heart – one that could help the Spurs land Chris Paul.
Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Getting Gasol off the books (then re-signing him with the room exception) is one hurdle crossed. Which other player could the Spurs drop if Paul commits?
The ruthless answer is simple: Tony Parker, who’s injured and an exorbitance with Paul at point guard. But Parker has meant so much to the franchise and wants to stay. It’s hard to see San Antonio trading him.
The Spurs could deal Aldridge for a lower-paid, slightly worse player. They could take the sentimental route and trade Green, who would be far more helpful with Paul than Parker would. Or maybe they somehow convince Paul to take less than his max (which would already be lower than the max he could get with the Clippers).
It’s still tricky to land Paul, but Gasol opting out at least gets San Antonio closer.