Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Anthony sought to obtain Gasol's phone number hours before his meeting with the Knicks on Thursday. According to the report, Anthony wanted to speak with Gasol about playing together in Madison Square Garden.
The development gave Knicks officials more confidence they'll be able to retain Anthony despite the plethora of interest on the open market thus far. Anthony met with the Los Angeles Lakers and Knicks on Thursday, the last of a free-agency tour that included stops in Chicago, Houston, and Dallas. The Lakers reportedly will offer him a maximum contract, but Wojnarowski reported it would "take a sudden change of direction" for him to go to Los Angeles.
Anthony, a seven-time All-Star, is one of the most highly sought-after free agents following his decision to opt out of the final year of his contract with the Knicks. In free agency, Anthony will be in position to sign a five-year contract with New York that could be worth approximately $129 million if he decides to return. With another team, the most he could sign for is about $95.8 million over four years.
According to Wojnarowski, Gasol is seeking a deal that will pay him somewhere in the neighborhood of $10 million annually. The Knicks' problem is that they are not well-positioned to offer him more than $4 million next season, given their current salary-cap situation.
Wojnarowski reported that the Chicago Bulls and Oklahoma City Thunder are the "most intriguing" possible destinations for Gasol. The Miami Heat are also contenders, and Heat president Pat Riley is set to meet with Gasol this weekend.