The Spurs are really in a unique position. Short of Kevin Durant, they could conceivably have any free agent they want. If they call Mike Conley, he’s coming to San Antonio. Al Horford? He’d become a Spur. All they’d have to do is clear the money, the Spurs don’t have to recruit anyone.
The problem is, the Spurs probably don’t want to clear the money. Trading Boris Diaw would be harmless enough, but to get into the max territory it would take to chase anyone in the paragraph above they’d have to dump Tony Parker or Danny Green, and that’s just not the sort of thing the Spurs do.
So odds are, they move Diaw and look for an offensive-minded center to replace Tim Duncan and help them score enough to beat the Thunder and Warriors next year.
Hey, Pau Gasol is an offensive-minded center! His game meshes well with LaMarcus Aldridge’s, as he’s comfortable on the block or further out on the perimeter. His passing would be a welcome addition to an offense that grew stagnant in the playoffs. And he’s a smart if not good defensive player, so fitting him into their scheme on that end shouldn’t be a problem. Overall the Spurs could comfortably maintain their league-best defense while improving on offense by signing Pau, so it seems like a slam dunk.
On Pau’s end, where better to finish your career than San Antonio? They’ll buy you three extra years! They’ll make you look good when you only have one leg (see Duncan, Tim). The Spurs probably aren’t going to win a championship over the next few seasons, but they’re at least close enough to make the last few years of Gasol’s career interesting.
And that’s really what he’s going to be looking for. A starting job, a few extra bucks and a shot at playing for a winner again. Besides, we just had to sit through two years of Pau watching Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler dribble seasons away. We deserve to see him play for Gregg Popovich. We’ve paid our dues.
Likely Contract: Two Years, $24 Million