Pau Gasol, Scott Brooks meet
Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks met with coveted free agent Pau Gasol in Southern California on Monday, multiple league sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com, but the team quietly considers it a "long shot" to acquire him.
It was the latest in a series of pitches to Gasol by members of the Thunder organization. The courtship began last week with a phone conversation between general manager Sam Presti and the two-time NBA champion on Tuesday, followed up by a tag-team face-to-face appeal from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook on Wednesday.
Despite the Thunder's persistence in trying to persuade the 34-year old Spaniard to play alongside his Spanish national squad teammate in Serge Ibaka and the reigning MVP in Durant, a league source told ESPNLosAngeles.com on Tuesday that Oklahoma City considers acquiring Gasol a "long shot."
Oklahoma City is limited to roughly $5 million in spending cash under the luxury-tax line to offer Gasol, but had hoped its position as a championship contender -- coming off a Western Conference finals appearance in the spring -- would speak to Gasol more than money.
During Gasol's meeting with Brooks, according to a league source, the 13-year veteran peppered Brooks with questions about the quality of life in Oklahoma City and wondered aloud about leaving a culturally diverse city like Los Angeles for middle America.