The season may be over for the Chicago Bulls and Pau Gasol, but the offseason is something that should be interesting. With Gasol looking to land a bigger and more lucrative contract, it is likely that the 35-year-old Spaniard will be playing somewhere else next season.
Gasol did want to return to the Bulls initially, but the thing here is that the Bulls don't seem to be committed in bringing him back and giving him a proper salary. At 35 and the fact that the salary cap is no longer flexible, Gasol's hopes of landing a big contract may not include the Bulls.
Right now, there is no team linked to Gasol, though most teams could still use him for about two years. One team that has been mentioned are the San Antonio Spurs, though there could be a lot of precedents before that can materialize.
That includes the fate of Tim Duncan, who may or may not retire next season. The Spurs have a packed frontline so adding Gasol could mean lesser minutes than what he usually gets. There is LaMarcus Aldridge and David West jockeying for playing time as well so adding Gasol could make things a little bit cramped.
The scenario changes, however, if Duncan decides to call it a career. That could open the way for Gasol to join the club, which his brother sees as a good fit. But with Duncan's play as of late, there is no hint that the 40-year-old veteran is slowing down.
Gasol could be in good hands with head coach Gregg Popovich, but the more pressing question is do the Spurs need him? Talent-wise, there is no question that Gasol could be a good addition, though his defensive capability may be put into question.
Sensible as it may sound, there is no assurance that Gasol will end up in San Antonio, at least for now. The free agency period could open more doors, though the 'prerequisites' still have to be answered first.