Pau Gasol pronounced himself open to all the possibilities as he nears summer free agency.
The veteran L.A. Lakers center recently told the L.A. Times “I’m not ruling anything out. Of course, I hope the Lakers will make an offer, one that is good enough for me to consider. But I’m open to any offers that I would consider interesting and motivating for my present and my future.”
The 33-year-old, 12-year veteran is set to officially become a free agent on July 1, making him eligible to make his own best deal. Though he has spent the last six seasons in L.A. that might not be the only former home Gasol is now considering a possible return to.
“The city of Memphis attracts me because it’s a city I know, there’s an opportunity of playing with my brother and they have a solid team,” Gasol said of the team he spent the first six seasons of his career with.
Gasol also admitted the prospect of teaming with Derrick Rose, and maybe even fellow Spaniard Nikola Mirotic, whom the Bulls also own the rights to, also intrigues him, as does perhaps joining the Lakers’ inner-city rivals.
“Going to the Clippers would be very difficult for me because they’re our neighbors and there’s a very strong rivalry there,” he said. “So it would be very difficult for me to consider that as a real option.”
When directly quizzed as to what his true preference might be, Gasol told the newspaper “I like to play with the best,” including LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony in that stratosphere.”
Despite all his well-documented issues with since ousted coach Mike D’Antoni, Gasol still chose to take the high road when referring to his overall L.A. experience, telling reporters of his long-term future “Mike leaving was not the be-all end-all, but it is another factor.”
Gasol averaged 16 points and nine rebounds in his two seasons playing under D’Antoni, noticeably down from his career numbers of 18 points and nearly 10 boards.