According to this report by the LA Times, two-time NBA Champion Pau Gasol will meet with the Golden State Warriors (along with Oklahoma City Thunder, Chicago Bulls and possibly the Los Angeles Lakers) before making his decision as to where he will play next season.
The 33-year-old center was made a free agent after the Lakers decided not to re-sign him after last season. He struggled last season under Mike D’Antoni, only managing a career low 31.4 minutes a game, as the Lakers finished last in the Western Conference.
The Warriors are in need of a quality backup big man – this was especially apparent after the first round playoff loss to the Clippers, where Dubs’ center Andrew Bogut was injured and unable to play. The Warriors struggled to deal with the Clippers frontcourt duo of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan and ultimately lost in 7 games.
The Warriors are over the salary cap and therefore can only offer the $5.3 million midlevel exception to Gasol. This will be a significant paycut for Gasol, who earned $19 million last season. However, all the teams he has agreed to meet are over the salary cap and can only offer him the mid-level exception.
Gasol may have lost a step, but is still capable of producing on the offensive end (17.4 points, 3.4 assists, 48% field goal percentage). If he were used off the bench, he could find himself being a difference maker against the lesser second units. He will be a choice addition to the Warriors bench and help propel them towards their goal of being a championship contender.