Could two prominent figures from the Los Angeles Lakers franchise leave the West Coast within a couple of months of each other and land in the Empire State?
Somehow, could Pau Gasol and Phil Jackson reunite in the Big Apple?
According to Marc J. Spears from Yahoo Sports, it’s possible.
When Spears asked Gasol whether he’d be interested in joining Phil Jackson’s New York Knicks, the Spaniard seemed open to at least having a conversation during free agency with his former coach.
“I’m happy for him and the position that he got,” Gasol said of Jackson, according to Spears. “I’m always going to be a big fan and a friend. I would listen.”
Of course, for Gasol to listen there has to be interest from New York’s side, too, and according to Spears, there is.
“The Knicks would be interested in Gasol in free agency, a source said,” Spears states.
However, getting Gasol to New York would be the biggest problem seeing as the franchise is way over the cap and would only be able to offer the two-time NBA champion a contract worth around $3.2 million per season, a considerable pay cut from the $19.7 million he made this year.
Sure, Gasol won’t get that kind of money again in the NBA, but he can most certainly do better than $3.2 million per year.
A sign-and-trade is also out of the question seeing as the new Collective Bargaining Agreement forbids teams over the luxury tax from pulling off such deals. Unless Jackson somehow palms off the likes of Andrea Bargnani and J.R. Smith to an unknowing victim, the only way the Knicks would be able to pull off a sign-and-trade would be if Carmelo Anthony leaves town.
This is why it may be worth Gasol’s while to re-sign with the Lakers this summer for one-year on an above market value deal. This way, he’d not only enter 2015 free agency at the same time as his brother, Marc, but he’d also have the opportunity to sign with a Phil Jackson run Knicks team who are set to have an abundance of cap space that summer, too.