Pau Gasol was certainly leaving the Los Angeles Lakers this summer but his future destination was yet unknown, many suitors rolled out the red carpet in attempt to attract the spaniard to their franchise and the Chicago Bulls won out.
Oklahoma City were one of the teams who made a strong endeavour at securing the signature of the power forward, his motives were clean cut, he wanted to contend for a title as money was not an issue at this point in his career.
His ability to contend in Los Angeles had been marginalised and his future would lie with a loaded roster, so when viewing it from that perspective, what would hold back the 34-year-old back from joining the incredible tandem of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook at the Thunder?
The Thunder could offer Gasol the chance to link up with two of the leagues top 10 players, he would also be playing in a front court alongside the defensively superior Serge Ibaka, as well as a signing a healthy looking contract.
However as Durant suspects and what is being signalled as the main reason that Oklahoma City could not attract 7 ft power forward was the cities cultural desirability.
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The news filtered from Sam Amick of USA Today, who tweeted comments made by superstar Kevin Durant surrounding the recruitment process of one Pau Gasol:
Plight of small markets
The reason for Gasol's grand emergence in Chicago is more down to the cultural lifestyle of the city in comparison to the perceived 'small market' location of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Not only does this show a shift in priorities for free agents but also the greater gap in the struggle of small market franchises to chase down the greatening advantages that the big cities contain.
Oklahoma City success has been in spite of their market's low stature, they have became one of the league’s top teams thanks to being fortunate enough to draft elite players in consecutive seasons.
Aspects that were never even conceived before whilst making a free agency decision are now becoming huge factors, weather and available nightlife have become big priorities of NBA players.
Not every player will be endeared towards a place due to the fine arts like Gasol but the rather amusing anecdote of his decision to join Chicago shows that there are much finer details to joining a new team than simply who is on the roster.