The Thunder are hot on the trail of Pau Gasol, so much to be called “frontrunners” by ESPN.com.
The complication in trying to sort out how to get Gasol to Oklahoma City is largely held up by money. Everything I’m currently hearing is that Gasol is extremely interested and excited about the possibility of playing for the Thunder. It’s just that he’d be giving up a whole lot of money to do it, and is trying to get the best of both worlds.
With the Thunder at $69,677,141 in guaranteed contracts, really the most they can offer Gasol is the full mid-level exception, which would pay him $5.3 million annually. He mad $19 million last season. That kind of deal wouldn’t put the Thunder over the luxury tax, but would place them above the “apron” essentially locking them into a hard cap and limiting their financial flexibility next season.