Alex Kennedy, Managing Editor or Basketball-Insiders, reports on Twitter that the Blazers are preparing to make a "big offer" for the services of soon-to-be 36-year-old free agent Pau Gasol. This will be his 17th season in the NBA, and he was a member of the All-Star team in February. He is reportedly also being pursued by the San Antonio Spurs and the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Another team in the Pau Gasol sweepstakes: The Portland Trail Blazers are pursuing Pau Gasol and sources say they're making a large offer.— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 2, 2016
Gasol averaged 16.5 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 4.1 assists during the 2015-16 NBA season. He made the Eastern Conference All-Star Team as a member of the Chicago Bulls.
The first day of free agency redefined the concept of "large offer", so the actual numbers are hard to predict. After agreeing to terms with Evan Turner, the Blazers do not currently have salary cap space to make another large offer. They would need to either make a trade or renounce free agents to clear room. It's reasonable to assume that Chris Kaman and Brian Roberts will already be renounced to sign Turner. As such, here are the most likely choices.
Free agents with cap holds, who could be renounced:
Gerald Henderson: $9,000,000
Meyers Leonard: $7,689,700
Moe Harkless: $7,235,148
Players with larger contracts who could be traded to clear space:
Al-Farouq Aminu: $7,680,965
Ed Davis: $6,666,667
Blazers General Manager Neil Olshey would need to make a tough decision if he wants to clear enough space to make a big offer to Pau Gasol. These players are generally early in their careers; it would be a clear case of trading young for old. Gasol may be able to mentor other players, but this move would also be a sign of a "win now" mentality from Olshey and the Blazers.