Photo: Pau Gasol
Spanish veteran big man Pau Gasol has rejected an initial contract offer from the Los Angeles Lakers and is reportedly trying to decide whether to sign with the Chicago Bulls or the reigning-champion San Antonio Spurs.
The free agent turned down a two-year contract offer from the Lakers, where he has played since the 2007-2008 season, that would have paid him slightly less than $10 million per season, a source with knowledge of the negotiations told Efe.
It is unclear whether the Los Angeles team will present Gasol a new offer.
Yahoo! Sports reported Friday that Gasol, known as a skilled low-post scorer and excellent passer, turned down “a two-year, $10 million-plus contract offer” from the Lakers.
The 34-year-old Spaniard, who helped lead the Lakers to back-to-back NBA titles in the 2008-2009 and 2009-2010 seasons, is now mulling offers by the Bulls, who are strong defensively but are searching for more offensive firepower, and Spurs, who routed the Miami Heat in five games in the NBA Finals.
Gasol averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last season for the Lakers, who are looking to rebuild after finishing 27-55 and missing the playoffs.
The Spanish 7-footer has been the subject of frequent trade rumors since the Lakers were upset in the 2011 NBA Playoffs by that year’s eventual champion, the Dallas Mavericks.
Gasol, who signed a three-year extension with the Lakers in 2009 worth more than $60 million, played the first six-and-a-half seasons of his career with the Memphis Grizzlies.