Phil Jackson‘s first offseason with the New York Knicks is sure to be an interesting one and the Knicks are already attracting attention from some of Jackson’s former players.
Pau Gasol felt nostalgic in what he admitted might have been his last day with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday. He’s also excited about his impending free agency and is open to a reunion with former Lakers coach Phil Jackson, who now runs the New York Knicks’ front office.
Gasol completed his seventh season with the Lakers averaging 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds in 60 games. He won two titles with the Lakers under Jackson, but lately with the Lakers struggling, Gasol’s name has been linked to more trade rumors than anything he has done on the floor.
He didn’t fit well with coach Mike D’Antoni‘s offense and had two straight disappointing seasons, but he is still a talented big man who runs the floor very well.
Jackson has wanted to surround himself with his type of people and has already signed Lamar Odom, met with Metta World Peace and now is linked to Gasol. Plus it looks like another one of Jackson’s former players, Steve Kerr, is close to becoming the next Knicks head coach.
However don’t get too excited about Gasol coming to the Knicks just yet. It would have to come with a massive pay cut since the most they can offer is the taxpayer’s midlevel exception, expected to be worth about $3.2 million. Gasol can get much more money than that on the open market, but he is loyal to Jackson, which could make the decision interesting.
Before long, the Knicks could turn into Lakers East.