- Ian Begley, ESPN Staff Writer
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Is Pau Gasol coming to the Garden?
The Laker center told Yahoo! Sports that he’d be willing to listen if Knicks president Phil Jackson wants to talk to him about coming to New York.
Los Angeles Lakers
"I'm happy for him and the position that he got," Gasol said, according to Yahoo!. "I'm always going to be a big fan and a friend. I would listen."
Gasol and Jackson have history. The former All-Star big man won two NBA titles under Jackson.
He will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career on July 1.
And, as ESPNLA’s Dave McMenamin notes, “the Lakers currently employing a coach whose style doesn't suit [Gasol's] game. [With] the team in the middle of a rebuild, the big man doesn't know how much he wants to remain a Laker.”
Gasol said the following to reporters in Los Angeles on Thursday:
"I'm going to listen closely to what the Lakers will have to offer and say about the team's situation and position at the time. We know what it is today, but we don't know what it is going to be July 1. See how the draft is going to play out, who they are going to end up drafting. Things like that that can have an impact or an effect on the structure of the team."
Jackson probably won't have much financial flexibility this summer. Even if the Knicks don’t re-sign Carmelo Anthony, they figure to be over the salary cap thanks to contracts for Amar’e Stoudemire ($23.4 million in 2014-15), Tyson Chandler ($14.6 million) and Andrea Bargnani ($11.5 million).
If the Knicks are over the salary cap, they’d have veteran’s minimum contracts to offer free agents. They may also have the non-tax payer mid-level salary exception. That exception allows teams to sign any free agent to a deal with a starting salary of up to $5.3 million.
It should be noted that Jackson has already shown that he’s interested in bringing former players to the Knicks. His first personnel move was to add Lamar Odom to a two-year contract with an unguaranteed second year.
Question: Do you think the Knicks should bring in Pau Gasol?
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2dIan O'Connor, ESPN Senior Writer