February 23, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Lakers center Pau Gasol (16) moves the ball against Brooklyn Nets power forward Mason Plumlee (1) during the first half at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Mavericks still interested in Pau Gasol

The Dallas Mavericks made a splash on Wednesday by trading for New York Knicks center Tyson Chandler. A big player that fills a huge need for the Mavericks, and hopefully makes them more desirable for potential free agents like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony.

The Mavericks have spent the last two offseason pursuing that “big fish” free agent and have come up empty handed, force to scramble to use their back up plan. In this case that might be power forward Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers.

From ESPN Dallas:

The Mavs believe the trade for Tyson Chandler increases their odds of reeling in one of the big fish, but sources told ESPNDallas.com that it did not eliminate their interest in Gasol.

It’s unknown whether Gasol would be willing to come off the bench at the age of 34, but it’s feasible to project him playing about 28 minutes per game for the Mavs. The Mavs don’t want Nowitzki averaging more than 32 minutes, so Gasol could play 16 minutes per game at power forward. He’d likely get another dozen or so minutes at center, maybe more against certain matchups.

The Mavericks wouldn’t be able to afford Gasol if they got either of the “big fish” free agents and likely wouldn’t need him in that case. Gasol is a solid back up plan to have in case you come up short in free agency though and by providing some depth at Nowitzki’s position could help Dirk rest more, stay out of the paint and extend his career.

ESPN Dallas suggests that the Mavericks would be hoping to get Gasol for around $8 million a year.

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