Ben Margot/Associated Press
Some of the final available roster spots in the NBA for the 2019-20 season could be filled by free-agent centers.
Veteran big men Pau Gasol, Joakim Noah and Kosta Koufos have yet to sign, but they are all generating some level of interest across the league.
The Detroit Pistons and Toronto Raptors are among the teams interested in adding a frontcourt player before finalizing their respective rosters for preseason.
Noah could explore a different avenue if he can’t come to terms with an NBA squad since a foreign team has also inquired about signing him to a contract.
Latest Free-Agent Rumors and Predictions
According to Vince Ellis of the Detroit Free Press, the Pistons have interest in signing Gasol.
The 39-year-old only played 30 games last season with San Antonio Spurs and Milwaukee Bucks due to a stress fracture in his left foot.
Aaron Gash/Associated Press
Even though there might be concerns about adding an older player coming off surgery, the Pistons should take a serious look at Gasol, who has averaged over 10 points per game in every season except for the 2018-19 campaign.
Detroit has Andre Drummond and Thon Maker on its roster at center, with Blake Griffin and Markieff Morris at power forward.
With a plethora of guards on their roster, the Pistons need reinforcements down low, whether it be Gasol or someone else that is still available.
Ellis pointed out in his report that Pistons vice chairman Arn Tellem is Gasol’s former agent, so that might be a connection that helps them out in pursuit of the Spaniard.
During the 2017-18 season with San Antonio, Gasol averaged 10.1 points and eight rebounds per game in 77 contests.
Although those numbers were a decrease from the year before, he proved he could still be productive when called upon down low.
Last season, Drummond hauled in 15.6 rebounds per game, while Griffin brought in 7.5 boards per contest.
Adding Gasol to that duo would make Detroit a difficult team to play against in terms of creating pressure and second-chance opportunities in the frontcourt.
Bringing in a two-time NBA champion would help with Detroit’s experience, but it would not tip the scales as far as its title chances.
Detroit could improve its eighth-place position from last season with Gasol in the fold, but it also would not boost it up into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.
Still, signing Gasol would be a wise move for the Pistons because, at the bare minimum, it will increase the talent on its roster and help it solidify its playoff position if he is healthy.
Prediction: Detroit makes a push for Gasol and signs him.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, Noah has received interest from NBA teams in search of frontcourt depth, but he is taking a selective approach to deciding his next step.
Brandon Dill/Associated Press
Stein also reported the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s NBL are trying to convince Noah to play there next season.
Noah is coming off a season in which he averaged 7.1 points and 5.7 rebounds for the Memphis Grizzlies.
The scoring production was Noah’s best since the 2014-15 campaign, which was his second-to-last season with the Chicago Bulls.
There are a handful of NBA teams, some of which are contenders, that could use a backup center.
For example, Milwaukee only has Brook and Robin Lopez on its center depth chart and could use an extra body down low.
Toronto could also be an intriguing landing spot for Noah since Marc Gasol is the only center with experience on its roster.
Since there should be a few NBA possibilities out there for Noah, a move overseas seems unlikely, especially if a contender comes calling.
If Noah is capable of recording similar totals to the ones he had last season, he will be a valuable piece wherever he lands.
Prediction: Noah takes his time, signs with Toronto.
According to Yahoo’s Chris Haynes, Detroit, Sacramento Kings, Milwaukee and Toronto have shown preliminary interest in Koufos.
Hannah Foslien/Associated Press
Koufos spent the last four seasons with the Kings, and he only played 42 games during the 2018-19 campaign with one start.
The 30-year-old would be looked at as depth at center despite having four seasons of 20 or more starts on his resume.
Koufos does not have the scoring or rebounding stat lines to warrant a starting gig in the NBA right now, but he could be a solid reserve for a contending team.
Milwaukee and Toronto still need to fill out their frontcourt depth, and any additional size on their rosters should be welcome since Philadelphia boasts four projected starters at 6’10” or taller.
If Detroit misses out on Gasol, Koufos could be a solid option to look at since he has averaged 5.7 points and five rebounds per game in his career.
Even though Sacramento added Dewayne Dedmon, Tyler Lydon and Richaun Holmes to its frontcourt in free agency, it only has one true center in Dedmon.
Bringing back Koufos would bolster the Kings depth at the position, but they already have 16 players signed to their roster.
As Haynes noted in his report, Koufos could be a later signing, but he does carry some value because of his ability around the rim.
Prediction: Koufos lands with Milwaukee to add to frontcourt depth.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90
Statistics obtained from Basketball Reference