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NBA Rumors: Pau Gasol Drawing Interest

A lot of teams on the verge of becoming a contender are looking at Pau Gasol as a piece who can help push them over the hump.

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Pau Gasol will be in demand

Gasol, though, will have options. A poll of NBA executives on Gasol’s future returned many of the same answers: Chicago. Cleveland. Charlotte, if the Bobcats believe a Gasol-Al Jefferson front line can stop anybody. Memphis, if Zach Randolph opts out. Even after a disappointing season — and with the understanding that Gasol has never been a strap-a-team-on-his-back kind of player — Gasol will be among the most sought after free agents on the market.

via Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated

Gasol actually had one of the more underappreciated seasons in the NBA after putting up 17.4 points, 9.7 rebounds and 3.4 assists a game. It wasn’t enough to help the Lakers be competitive on most nights, but it did prove that he can still play at a high level. For a contending team looking to improve their interior presence, Gasol can be a real difference maker next season.

Of the destinations suggested by Mannix, he makes the most sense in Cleveland, where they need someone with his skill and championship experience. However, as an unselfish veteran willing to sacrifice himself for the betterment of the team, there’s really nowhere Gasol wouldn’t make a positive impact.

With their direction still unclear, it’s too early to rule out a return to the Lakers. They’ve shopped him heavily in recent years, but he has a strong advocate in Kobe Bryant and the Lakers front office does respect his ability. As a primary contributor to two championship teams and a consummate pro through all of the trade rumors, they won’t let him go without strongly considering matching whatever offer he does end up getting.

Cavaliers interview Tyronn Lue, Lionel Hollins

Los Angeles Clippers assistant Tyronn Lue will interview with the Cavaliers today, a league source confirmed. Former Memphis Grizzlies coach Lionel Hollins will follow with a weekend visit, a source confirmed, as the Cavs coaching search is expanding.

via Jason Loyd of the Akron Beacon Journal

Lue and Hollins join Alvin Gentry, Vinny Del Negro, Adrian Griffin and Billy Donovan as the known candidates for the Cavaliers coaching job, which became vacant after Mike Brown was let go earlier this month.

Griffin is reportedly looking for a coach who will institute an up tempo style. With the No. 1 overall pick and ample cap space, hiring the right head coach is not only going to be important for the development of their second straight top overall draft pick, but in luring free agents as well.

The Cavaliers’ best-case scenario involves bringing LeBron James back and because of that HEAT assistant David Fizdale has been mentioned as an option as well, but he may not be willing to interview for the position until the HEAT’s season is over.

Clippers sale coming?

As Shelly Sterling received bids and continued to move aggressively to sell the Los Angeles Clippers, her estranged husband, Donald Sterling, refused to budge from his vow to fight the NBA's charges to terminate his ownership and force a sale of the team.

Shelly Sterling and her advisers received a handful of bids for the team Wednesday -- with sources saying the bids are well more than $1 billion -- in what is turning into a rush to find a buyer for the franchise before Tuesday's Board of Governors meeting at which both of the Sterlings' ownership interests could be terminated.

Via Ramona Shelburne and Darren Rovell of ESPN

Earlier this week a report surfaced that Donald Sterling was going to sue the NBA and fight the sale of the team “until the bloody end”. However, he has since backed off of that claim, but Shelburne reports that some bidders are concerned he’s doing so just so that they can establish a true value of the team to help him in his fight against the league.

There are some advantages to letting Shelly handle the sale, as she can dictate a lot of the terms, including the payment plan to help offset some of the capital gain taxes.

The NBA is set to meet on Tuesday and with 22 of 29 votes they will be able to terminate the Sterling’s ownership and conduct the sale themselves. An agreement before Tuesday is the best case scenario. Shelly is already fielding offers with several more to come tomorrow, so the window for quick closure is still open – something we weren’t expecting at this early juncture of the process. However, until he’s completely and officially gone, you can’t put anything past Donald.

Yannis Koutroupis is Basketball Insiders' Managing Site Editor and Senior Writer. He has been covering the NBA and NCAA for seven years.

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