Not a ton has been said on the interweb super highway about the possibility of Pau Gasol becoming a Mav next season, and right now I need some of the wise folks at MMB to walk me back away from this cliff ... or not.
In light of recent news that Gasol is not on the trading block this season, I am starting to feel he could be a legit free agent target for our Mavs next season. To me, there are several key factors that make his landing in Dallas a possibility.
1. Caldy - We got Pau's brother-in-arms locked in for Dirk's final years. Pau and Caldy are one of Europe's best backcourt/frontcourt combos of all-time, having played together on the Spanish national team since 2002. They have been to three Olympics together, winning two silvers, not to mention winning the gold in the 2006 FIBA World Championship (of which Pau was named tourney MVP). Chemistry: it's more than just a class I failed at the City College.
2. Dirk - Personality-wise, Dirk and Gasol seem like a perfect match. Pau and Kobe have always seemed like an odd pairing in this regard. I think it's fair to say the offense would be there with this dirty Euro duo. But you know, I'm not so sure that despite their lack of athleticism, that we wouldn't have a pretty smart defensive front court. Especially considering T-Mac's enlightening article noting that Dirk has actually been a pretty damn good defender these past 5+ years.
3. 'Tricky' Ricky Carlisle - Carlisle will get the most out of Pau, unlike his current coach who employs Pau thinking he is like some kind of 23-year-old version of A'mare. Yeah, what's up with that Mike D.?!
4. Winning is Important - Who has a brighter short-term future, Lakers or Mavs? I say 'short-term' because Pau and Dirk's shelf-life doesn't lend itself to 5 years down the road. Answer: The Mavs, and it's not close. Kobe's health, Mike D., Buss' bonehead son at the helm - put my money on the Mavs all day. Pau cares about winning according to this free agent related article.
I would only do this deal if Pau takes less than his fair market value. Take less to play with Dirk and Caldy, to have a legit coach and winning future ahead of you, to not have to put up with the L.A. media circus, Kobe and the Buss family drama. C'mon Pau.
If he takes less, its gotta be 'less' enough so that we can still make a play for the best 3 on the market. That's where we should spend free agent money. Deng appeals to me far more than Gortat. I like Gortat, but I'd rather spend money on Deng and Pau then throw all our free agent $ in Gortat's Polish Basket. BTW, 'Polish Basket' wasn't a sexual reference, promise.
I mean Pau alone is no D. Howard or the like, and he's probably no Gortat at this stage in his career. But together Pau, Dirk, Wright, Daly, and a resigned Blair or Sarge make for a formidable frontcourt, without going 'all in' on the likes of Gortat. Pau is also a NBA champion that can swing the 4 or 5, make the right pass out of the post, play solid D, and overall be a great teamate and influence in the locker room.
I mean, ideally we swing a trade for a Monroe or someone, but I just don't buy that DET would give him up. And I don't buy we have enough trade assets to get it done or another deal similiar to this for a younger 5-man. It's just not happening as much as Trade Machine says it CAN happen.
The Mavs best course of action may be having Dirk and Caldy knock on Pau's door midnight July 1st, sign Deng, then work the 'heap' for another 1 or 2 that can play some D (still waiting to see Harris, he may resolve that need soon).