NBA Rumors Round-Up

NBA Rumors: Gasol Discusses Free Agency

Pau Gasol says he’ll consider the Lakers, Spurs, Grizzlies and Bulls in free agency … Amar’e Stoudemire wants Steve Kerr in New York … Kings allowing fans to be part of pre-draft process

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Gasol Interested in Lakers, Grizzlies, Bulls, Spurs

“I’m not ruling anything out,” said Gasol, speaking in Spanish during a video interview with Spanish sports website “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 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.

He also said the Chicago Bulls, with the return of Derrick Rose and the possible addition of fellow Spaniard Nikola Mirotic, could be an interesting team. He also gave a nod to Western Conference rivals the San Antonio Spurs.

“The Spurs players maybe don’t rack up statistics, but the team and the coach they have, to me, seems like a very good option,” he said. “In the end, I’m more interested in a team than an individual player and how I would adjust and be worked into a system.”

via James Barragan of the Los Angeles Times

Gasol will have a long list of potential suitors this summer, as he has proven that he can still be a significant contributor on a contending team. At this point in his career, the 33-year-old wants to compete for a championship, which is why he’s zeroing in on contenders as he approaches free agency.

Sources told Basketball Insiders that Gasol started looking into possible free agency destinations several months ago, so it’s no surprise that he already has a wish list. He mentioned the Lakers because he hasn’t ruled out re-signing with the team (even though they seem the least likely to contend of the teams he mentioned). He also mentioned the Spurs, Bulls and Grizzlies, which would all be excellent landing spots for the veteran big man. Gasol would help each of those teams and it’s easy to see why he’s attracted to those franchises.

It’d be interesting to see Gasol suit up alongside Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili and Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio. He’d give them another weapon, and it’d be fun to see how Gregg Popovich would use Gasol. The Spurs could have as much as $54,934,893 in salary commitments for next season.

The Bulls make a lot of sense, since most people around the league expect them to contend in the weak Eastern Conference next season. Gasol, Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson would give Chicago a scary frontcourt, and that team would be very good if Derrick Rose is able to bounce back and return to form. Like Popovich, it’d be interesting to see how Tom Thibodeau uses Gasol. Chicago has $63,951,755 in guaranteed commitments next season, but that number will be significantly lower if they amnesty or trade Carlos Boozer’s $16,800,000 expiring contract as expected.

The Grizzlies make a lot of sense, given Gasol’s history in Memphis and the fact that his brother, Marc, is on the team. Memphis has to deal with their own free agent power forwards – Zach Randolph and Ed Davis – this summer, but Gasol is certainly someone they’ll take a look at in July. The Grizzlies have $48,980,360 in guaranteed commitments for next season.

It remains to be seen what kind of offers Gasol will get this summer, but it sounds like he’s looking forward to the process.

Stoudemire Wants Kerr in New York

Steve Kerr hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll become the head coach of the Knicks. But if he ends up in New York, Kerr will have a strong supporter in Amar’e Stoudemire.

“I like Steve Kerr. For one, when he was a GM (in Phoenix, when Stoudemire was with the Suns) he was always preaching about winning and winning a title and that’s something that I adored about him,” Stoudemire said earlier this week on “The Herd with Colin Cowherd” on ESPN Radio. “And then also, secondly, he has a formula to win; he’s been a winner in this league before. He wants to win. And he reminds me of somewhat of a player-coach that knows the game and knows what players go through as far as ups and downs throughout the year and that’s going to help him.”

via Ian Begley of ESPN New York

Stoudemire played for Kerr when the latter served as the general manager for the Suns for three years. It sounds like Stoudemire had a strong relationship with Kerr during their time together in Phoenix and he really respected him.

Stoudemire isn’t alone, as most people around the NBA rave about Kerr and speak very highly of him both as a worker and as a person.

While Kerr has yet to accept the Knicks job, he is currently in San Diego discussing his options with his family. It sounds like Kerr is deciding between the Knicks and the Warriors, but New York is considered the favorite to land his services due to his strong relationship with Phil Jackson.

Kerr has been on the road for the last several weeks calling the playoffs for TNT, so he really hasn’t had much time to sit down and mull his options with his family until now. Reports have indicated that Kerr expects to make a decision early next week.

If Kerr passes on the Warriors, Golden State is expected to seriously consider hiring Stan Van Gundy to replace Mark Jackson, who was fired on Tuesday.

Kings Involving Fans in Pre-Draft Process

Pete D’Alessandro: “We are all striving to find the right metrics to evaluate the draft. In fact, in my interview with Vivek I discussed a concept which I think hasn’t been done before. There is so much talent and so much information out there today outside of the walls of the NBA. I told him I felt like we could tap into that vast wealth of knowledge. For that reason I was actually planning on reaching out to advanced fans and asking for their help in this Draft. I had my analytics team here at the Kings create a website where I’m asking fans to rate college players by position in the 2014 NBA Draft. I would like more than just the ranking for fans that are interested. I would like to know how they came to their decision. From this crowdsourcing, I will select a smaller group to be in my Draft think tank. A few of which I plan to invite to my war room. … I would like to have a Draft Advisory Council of analytically-minded people and we’d definitely like to do this moving forward. At one point I was outside of the wall of the NBA scratching to get in and I know there are many, many others who are in the same situation. So this is really exciting for me.”

via Sacramento Kings Press Release

This is a very interesting idea and this is more than just a fan contest. There are many intelligent fans that have a lot to offer an NBA front office if given the opportunity, and D’Alessandro is hoping that he can find some of those individuals with the Draft 3.0 Challenge.

D’Alessandro announced the challenge in his recent AMA on Reddit. He added: “I’m looking forward to a spirited conversation and debate throughout this process. That’s the only way we would do it for this organization and it’s the healthy way.”

Click here to submit an application for the Draft 3.0 Challenge. Users are asked to devise a methodology for evaluating the long-term value of potential NBA draftees by position, using historical, publicly-available and individually-sourced data to develop their entry. Applicants are also asked to rank players at each position.

All submissions are due by May 19, 2014. The participants who provide the most insightful and inventive analysis will be considered for an invitation to a Kings’ draft advisory council — led by D’Alessandro – which will convene regularly until draft day. Up to two individuals from the draft advisory council will be considered for an invitation to the team’s draft room on June 26.


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