Gasol met with general manager Mitch Kupchak for a couple of hours in an office building. Los Angeles was one of the first teams to contact the 33-year-old after the free agency period began at 12 p.m. EST on Monday night. Gasol has spent the past six seasons with the Lakers, that includes three finals appearance with two championships and three All-Star game selections.
Los Angeles was not the only team Gasol spoke to on Tuesday, as Miami Heat president Pat Riley called him to discuss his interest in signing with the organization. However, the 13-year veteran is said to be looking to get an annual salary between $10-12 million which may push him out of the range for Miami, who is looking to acquire players at a significant pay cut. The San Antonio Spurs also contacted Gasol, but are not considered a serious option for the four-time All-Star given their limited salary cap space.
Along with his meeting with the Lakers on Tuesday, Gasol is still expected to sit down with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and Golden State Warriors. The New York Knicks are also said to be interested to reunite the big man with new head coach Derek Fisher, who he won two titles alongside with as a player in Los Angeles, and team president Phil Jackson, who he had much success playing for several seasons that included two championships.
The market for Gasol is expected to heat up once Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James decide where they will play next season. If he is still available at that time, Gasol will be in high demand as one of the best free agents left in free agency.
Photo Credit: AP
Bob Garcia IV
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