Longtime Los Angeles Lakers frontcourt anchor Pau Gasol hits unrestricted free agency on July 1 and will have no shortage of suitors. The Chicago Bulls, Golden State Warriors, Phoenix Suns, Atlanta Hawks. Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Lakers are all expected to make a run at signing the two-time champion, reports ESPN's Ramona Shelburne.
Gasol and the Lakers are said to be open to staying together, though both sides will likely feel out the market before jumping into a new contract. He bounced back from one of the worst seasons in his career in 2012-2013 by averaging 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game, close to his career averages.
It's no surprise many teams pushing to contender status have interest in Gasol. Two down seasons under Mike D'Antoni have fueled speculation that he could perform well in another system with a fresh start.
The Lakers have their new long-term answer at power forward in Julius Randle. Gasol could slide up, as he's often done, to be Los Angeles' starting center. Jordan Hill, the other consistent frontcourt player over the past three seasons, will also have multiple teams interested in signing him.
Gasol, 33, has likely seen the final big payday of his career. He earned $19.2 million in the final season of his contract with the Lakers. Los Angeles has circled in on signing Carmelo Anthony or LeBron James, but the Lakers are said to be interested in re-signing Gasol to add an established player as a selling point to other free agents.