Four-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol will have his contract with the Los Angeles Lakers come off the books at season’s end—making him an unrestricted free agent. Although the Spaniard has regressed statistically in recent years, his offensive repertoire as a 7-footer will undoubtedly intrigue a plethora of teams this summer.
While Gasol did experience a bounce-back season compared to his career-worst 2012-13 campaign, he’s poised to miss a total of 22 games due to a variety of injuries and a bout with vertigo. He’ll turn 34 years old in July, so there’s clearly some risk-versus-reward factors at play.
If he returns to form by playing at the high level he displayed in January—when he averaged 20.8 points, 11.9 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.7 blocks per game—then he’ll be an absolute steal for the team that signs him. By contrast, there’s always a chance he could continue shooting under 50 percent from the floor while fighting off a rash of injuries.
Even if the wily veteran regresses statistically, though, he’d still be seen as a huge interior upgrade for a variety of teams.
Mike Trudell of Lakers.com said via Twitter that Gasol is "excited to speak with multiple teams" and that "his mind is open."
The odds he returns to L.A. seem slim, but there are other ideal landing spots where he could spend his 14th professional season.
All salary information courtesy of Shamsports.com.