Pau Gasol was owed over 16 million next season but he decided to renegotiate his contract, likely for a longer deal. This move will give the Spurs the boost they needed in the free agent market. Before this the Spurs options were limited and they were going have to rely on the draft and lower-tier players to round their new team into shape. Now that they have freed up this space they have an opportunity to “have their cake and eat it it too”. They can keep Gasol and use the cap space on one major player or a couple key role players--nice break for the Spurs.
2) Star Power:
All of sudden the Spurs can now offer major money for a single free agent. The offering number will likely not be on par with other teams but it would at least be respectable enough to possibly entice a star to join forces with Kawhi Leonard in San Antonio. The Spurs are in desperate need of star power because of the injury to Tony Parker--leaving Leonard as the Spurs only true offensive option on the perimeter. Players like Gordon Hayward (if he opts out) become a better possibility versus the pipe dream it was before this cap space opened up.
1) Chris Paul:
Thanks to the cap space, the Spurs can realistically give Paul a solid offer. They still will not be able to match the raise the Clippers will be able to give him but they can compete. The Spurs could offer him something in the ballpark of 90 mil for 4 years. This type of offer would be uncharacteristic for the Spurs and they will likely hope that Paul would take less to compete for a championship. Realistically, this deal has almost nothing to do with money because of the Clippers clear financial advantage over the Spurs, it comes down to what is more important to Paul. Still, Gasol’s sacrifice actually makes this scenario a little more of a possibility.