Could Webber have brought Gasol to Sixers?
The 76ers cannot get involved in any NBA trades involving big names.
They didn't have a player to match up, salary-wise, with Shaquille O'Neal, who went to the Suns for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks. But the 35-year-old O'Neal is too old to provide the Sixers with the long-term help they need.
As for Pau Gasol, the Grizzlies wanted an expiring contract for him. The Sixers' biggest deal that's ending this summer is Kevin Ollie ($3.4 million), which wasn't nearly enough. Memphis opted for the Lakers' offer, which featured the expiring contract of Kwame Brown ($9.1 million).
But what if the Sixers didn't buy out Chris Webber for 85 cents on the dollar 13 months ago? If he had honored his contract, Webber would've been in the final year making $21 million this year. Could the Sixers have acquired Gasol ($13.7 million) for Webber's expiring deal? In that scenario, the Sixers would've had to take another player from Memphis to come within 25 percent of Webber's salary.
While he's not a very good defender, the 27-year-old Gasol is exactly what the Sixers need on offense — a big (7-foot, 260 pounds) power forward who can score inside with both hands and rebound. His career averages are 18.9 points and 8.8 rebounds.
In the Lakers' 117-113 victory Friday at Orlando, Gasol accumulated 30 points — on 12-for-15 shooting — and nine rebounds.
Such a move would've wiped out the $10 million below the cap the Sixers are headed for in July, but it also would've eliminated the biggest hole in the Sixers' roster.