In an interview with Marca.com, Pau stated the teams he would like to play for.
The Lakers, Spurs, Bulls, and Grizzlies are all strong playoff contenders. Pau has admitted in the past that he wants to remain a Laker for life, and Kobe Bryant wants him back on the team. There is mutual interest within the players, but the organization may be going in a different direction.
Then again, they may not be. Mike D’Antoni was recently fired and didn’t gain the utmost respect from both Bryant and Gasol. Their philosophies on styles of play were opposite. While they tried to find a way to blend things together, it didn’t lead to playoff success or team unity.
The Spurs, are an ideal choice for Pau Gasol. While Pau would love to play along his brother Marc, the Spurs are the closest to championship contention, lead a defensive mindset, and play an offensive style that caters to Pau Gasol well. The international culture of the Spurs has led to their long-term success, with low-key players playing mature on-and-off the floor. The disciplined style only enhances what Gasol brings to the offense; passing and post play.
The Grizzlies allow Pau Gasol to be with his brother, and take part in the Team Spain frontline. The combination of two big men with passing and shooting skills up to 20′ can lead to better success in the playoffs too. Pau isn’t as great in isolation in the post like Zach Randolph, but the two brothers make each other better. The chemistry is automatically there.
The Bulls are an interesting choice. Like the Spurs, they carry a defensive mindset. Noah is a center who plays off-the-ball, which would give Gasol opportunities on the block. Still, if Thibodeau isn’t a Laker coach, at least Pau can play for a great choice. The Bulls have been overachieving for years despite multiple injuries. The young players on the roster have only gotten better.
In all likelihood, this will be Pau Gasol’s last major contract. He does have interest in riding into the sunset next to his championship partner in Bryant, but personal aspirations and desires may lead him to a different direction.