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The Knicks have not been eliminated in their pursuit of Pau Gasol, but they trail three, maybe four, teams.

New York is behind Chicago, Oklahoma City, Lakers and Spurs, according to reporter Ken Berger (CBS, July 8).

Carmelo Anthony is still on his own free agency tour, but he asked for fellow free agent Gasol’s phone number with the intention of recruiting him to the Knicks (Wojnarowski, July 3).

“If the Lakers get Carmelo, Pau will stay,” said a person familiar with Gasol’s thinking (Los Angeles Times, July 3).

I think this Gasol deal is conditional. Based on the reports, Gasol is very much tuned in to whatever Carmelo Anthony decides. All indicators are Gasol could stay in Los Angeles if 'Melo chooses the Lakers, but would also consider New York, given Anthony's presence and the familiarity factor with Phil Jackson.

One wildcard I see in this situation is the Spurs. The defending champs can offer a chance to be a parting a NBA championship contender, giving Gasol another ring or two before he contemplates retirement.  I also would not rule out Miami if LeBron returns and Chris Bosh joins the Rockets.

Tags: Knicks , Andrew Vazzano
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