Pau Gasol speaks with Pat Riley, considering Heat

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

With the big man weighing his options after the final year of his contract with the Lakers, Miami has emerged as a potential landing spot.

Pau Gasol spoke on the phone with Miami Heat team president Pat Riley on Tuesday and could talk to team officials again soon as he decides his fate during free agency, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Such a move would reportedly cost the Heat somewhere in the range of $10-$12 million in yearly salary. If that were to happen, it would mean the Heat would face questions on how to build its remaining pieces around him.

Wojnarowski also states that the San Antonio Spurs have contacted Gasol's agent Arn Tellem, and gauged his interest in joining the defending NBA champions, though there are questions as to how they could afford his asking price.

Why this makes sense

Despite its success over the last few seasons, Miami has been deficient on the interior, ranking last in the NBA in offensive and defensive rebounding in 2013-14.

Gasol would instantly provide interior scoring and the help on the glass they sorely need, even at the back-end of his career. He's extremely versatile and can score in a number of ways. He's a capable scorer on the inside and a terrific passer and teammate who would instantly earn the respect of LeBron James.

Why this doesn't make sense

Even with a talent like Gasol in the frontcourt, Miami would still need a rim protector next to him as the Spaniard's athleticism and health continue to dwindle. Defense has never been his strong suit anyway, and the Heat would still need someone to fill that void inside.

The projected salary numbers would also restrict Miami's ability to keep James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in addition to Gasol unless Bosh and Wade come in at considerable discounts.

Likelihood: 5/10

Gasol wants to go to a contender, and the Heat are the contender in the Eastern Conference, so it makes sense from that standpoint. The fact that there are conversations and mutual interest make it seem possible, though it's still unlikely given the uncertainty surrounding Miami's trio of stars.

The Los Angeles Lakers are still in the mix, as are any team in use for a big man with Gasol's diverse set of skills.

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