Less than 24 hours to live this new experience. It should be exciting! #FreeAgency— Pau Gasol (@paugasol) June 30, 2014
Pau Gasol has put the Golden State Warriors on his short list of teams to meet with once the NBA's 2014 free agency period begins tonight at 9:01 p.m. PST, according to Mike Bresnahan of the L.A. Times.
Bresnahan reports that Gasol will meet with the Warriors, Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls in addition to possibly meeting with the L.A. Lakers, his current team. Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Gasol, an unrestricted free agent, has been "noncommittal about returning to L.A.", which makes departing SoCal for one of the other options a distinct possibility.
SB Nation's Tom Ziller ranked Gasol 18th among the free agents available this summer and there's little doubt that a post player with his skill set could be extremely useful in the type of offense new Warriors coach Steve Kerr is expected to implement this coming season. And that he's still a plus defender (by RAPM) at 33 makes him an appealing option to add to this frontcourt.
But the Warriors interest in him will probably come down to how they want to use their limited cap room.
In that scenario, GSWs use all available $ for position already costing $15M RT @migs_Lkg no duplication. Gasol starts. Lee off bench. Depth— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) June 30, 2014
Bogut is $13M. GSWs already > $31M for C/PF spots. RT @DannyLeroux The logic of Gasol would also be having him log some minutes at Center,— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) June 30, 2014
Given the Warriors' need for backcourt help, adding a post in the form of an aging vet on the decline - who isn't the kind of stretch four that the team reportedly covets - doesn't necessarily seem like the best way to allocate their limited space under the cap.
In short, adding a former All-Star with championship experience to the roster who can score probably sounds more appealing in theory from a PR standpoint than it does in terms of the practical salary cap concerns that come with building a contender.
And, of course, there's still the matter of what to do about pursuing that Kevin Love guy.
For more on NBA free agency, check out SB Nation's NBA free agency section.