Free Agency...Brooks Meets With Gasol

By Randy Renner

Thunder head coach Scott Brooks has not been with his team in Orlando watching summer league action as he usually is this time of year and now we know where he's been.

ESPN reported last evening that Brooks has been in Los Angeles talking with free agent center Pau Gasol. Gasol has also had face-to-face sitdowns with Thunder stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook in LA as the Thunder put on a full-court press to get the former Lakers big man.

Gasol is apparently giving the Thunder serious consideration, along with the Lakers, Bulls, Heat and Knicks. Gasol's decision could very well hinge on what Carmelo Anthony decides to do. If Anthony sticks with the Knicks, Gasol would probably look to leave LA and the Knicks likely wouldn't be able to pay Gasol anywhere close to what he wants. They wouldn't even be able to offer what the Thunder can unless they make another salary move if 'Melo stays in New York.

If Anthony takes the Lakers up on their offer though Gasol would love to stay in LA and the Lakers would like to re-sign him and set up a Big Three with Anthony, Gasol and Kobe Bryant.

The Knicks had expected Anthony to make a decision on Monday but that didn't happen so who knows what the timeline is now.

WESTBROOK WILL SIT OUT WORLD CUP

It's already been a busy summer for Westbrook, who's been in Paris for the launch of a fashion collection he's working on with Barney's of New York and of course that trip to LA to lobby Gasol.

Now Westbrook has decided not to participate with Team USA in the FIBA World Cup next month. Westbrook has had three surgeries on his right knee over the last 14 months and doesn't want to risk anything during what would have been a two month commitment.

As far as we know Westbrook has not been having any trouble with the knee but is pulling out of the World Cup purely as a precautionary measure and to rest up for next season.