Gasol signing with Warriors-like team could happen, per Zach Lowe originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
The assumption is that the 31-year-old — who has been with the Toronto Raptors since February 2017 — will command a bigger payday in free agency. But that didn’t stop The Ringer’s Bill Simmons from making the case for Ibaka to leave some cash on the table.
“He’s made a lot of money, he’s been in good situations, he got to win a title already, and is one of the best teammates,” Simmons said Monday on “The Lowe Post” podcast with ESPN’s Zach Lowe. “He’s the kind of guy I could see talking himself into, ‘I’m gonna go to Golden State and I’ll take a little less and it’ll be worth it.’
“A little like where (Andre) Iguodala was in the middle of the last decade … whether it’s (the) Denver (Nuggets) or Golden State, I see Ibaka inserting himself into the playoff picture in a real way if he leaves Toronto.”
At this point, Lowe pivoted.
“I think the guy who goes from Toronto to a Golden State-like team — in terms of (sacrificing) money, minutes, role to try to win a championship — is (Marc) Gasol,” Lowe said. “If he stays here (in the United States).
“My prediction for Ibaka would be like a one-year, $20 million deal with the Raptors.”
Lowe’s “if he stays here” caveat is in reference to a recent report that the native of Spain might play next season for FC Barcelona.
And to be clear, Lowe was not reporting that Gasol seriously is considering the Warriors or anything along those lines. At this point, nobody has any clue what is going to happen. And it will stay that way until the NBA announces what the salary cap and luxury tax line will be for next season.
Also, we don’t know where Gasol stands on the Warriors’ wish list. There’s a chance Golden State is more interested in other players and/or takes a big man in the NBA draft.
Gasol, who will turn 36 years old on Jan. 29, not did not have a great 2019-20 season, and struggled in the Orlando bubble. He averaged 6.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists over 11 playoff games, while shooting 39 percent from the field and below 19 percent from deep.
Warriors fans assuredly remember the three-time All-Star playing well against their squad in the 2019 NBA Finals, when Gasol averaged 12.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and 2.7 assists.