Free-agent center Pau Gasol fielded phone calls on Wednesday from three major title contenders (Heat, Spurs and Oklahoma City), and apparently will be mulling offers from those teams and perhaps others as well this week.
It's no secret that Gasol has been one of the Heat's top targets during free agency, and his phone call from Heat president Pat Riley on Wednesday isn't expected to be the last. If possible, the Heat would like to use its full mid-level exception on Gasol ($5.3 million per season) to add some size inside to go along with Chris Bosh. The Heat was ranked 30th in the NBA last season. If the Spurs steal Gasol from the Heat, then San Antonio might throw Gregg Popovich another parade.
Gasol acknowledged he received a few phone calls via Twitter:
He then added a little humor to Wednesday's Twitter madness:
The Heat has been working the free-agency phones since 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Other targets include Trevor Ariza of the Wizards and Kyle Lowry of the Raptors. The immediacy of Twitter has added to the free-agency buzz over the last two days, and local sports talk radio shows have latched onto the constant stream of information. There have been some pretty interesting reports along the way. For example, Dan Le Batard, citing nothing except perhaps his excellent sense of humor, reported on his radio show that the Heat was interested in Pacers guard Lance Stephenson.
That's the same Stephenson who was threatened verbally by Udonis Haslem during the playoffs, called LeBron James a choker in 2012 and also said he wanted to injure Dwyane Wade's knees in the most recent Eastern Conference finals.