This could be the day Pau Gasol has been looking for, mulling over, wondering about, way too much over the past three years. Among hoping to make the playoffs, or dreaming about a big night on the court, Gasol has also been wondering when he would get the word he had been traded.
And if there is any team in the league with a poker face, it's the Los Angeles Lakers.
Nobody knows what they are going to do, other than go after a big name like Lebon James, or Carmelo Anthony, or Kevin Love. They don't even have a coach yet, but the old Laker's are gone, and a new team is definetly on the horizon. They are going to make one or two pick-ups this year that will redefine them over the next few years. Kobe is faltering, and is hard to play with; and sadly, Nash is not the baller he used to be. Everyone knows they need help, but who will it be? And how will that potential pick-up effect long-haul Gasol, who has been solid with the team for seven years?
In this wild offseason, any guess will do, really. Gasol has made it clear he would like to stay in Los Angeles, but It seems the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks and Chicago Bulls, among other teams, are very interested in the big man.
Sources told ESPN.com that Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook made a face-to-face pitch Wednesday to Gasol in Los Angeles to join them in Oklahoma City, no matter the financial burden the Thunder would face in signing Gasol. Thunder general manager Sam Presti also spoke Wednesday by phone to Gasol, according to ESPNLosAngeles.com, while other sources report that the Thunder, like many other teams, are waiting for the big chips like James, Love and Anthony to fall before pulling the trigger on a Gasol trade.
The Knicks are hopeful, again according to ESPN, even though they only have a small amount of cap space available to pay Gasol. He is due to bring in over $19 million this year, and the max the Knicks would be allowed to offer, even after trading away for salary space, would be $5 million. Gasol did thrive in Phil Jackson's triangle offense, so they may be hoping that influences Gasol's decision.
Since news is coming out Anthony has been offered max contracts by the Lakers and the Knicks, many teams who were hard after his services are starting to go to plan-b in their re-outfitting strategy. According to the Chicago Tribune, the Bulls sent representatives to Los Angeles last thursday to meet with Gasol and other free agents.
The Rockets and Spurs have also been mentioned, but it's hard to see Gasol heading to San Antonio since Tim Duncan decided to stay, and the Rockets seem to be concentrating on James and Anthony, almost to a fault.
Gasol has made it known that he would take a pay cut to play with a serious contender, so he too is probably waiting to see where some of the big players land before he makes his decision.
He has waited a long time for his next move; waiting a few more days is no big deal.