If Dwight Howard, who is a free agent, does indeed return to the Los Angeles Lakers next season, many have suggested that Pau Gasol would be traded as a result.
Due over $19 million dollars for 2013/2014, his final season of a three year extension, the veteran Gasol struggled last year for the Lakers, his first paired with Dwight.
Finding a willing partner who’ll be able to absorb the over $20 million dollar deal once his 15% trade kicker is exercised though could prove to be difficult, something the Lakers are fully aware of. So what does that leave the Lakers to do if Dwight does re-sign? Well, according to Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, they may just keep both:
While it had been widely assumed that the Lakers would not bring Howard and Gasol back because of the monumental hit they would take with the league’s increased luxury tax, Kupchak said at the end-of-season session that scenarios remained in play in which they could both return. Despite the fact that the Lakers barely made the playoffs and were swept in the first round by San Antonio, the Lakers’ Kobe Bryant even lobbied for the team to stay together for one more year. Pau Gasol’s contract, which will pay him $19.2 million next season, has just one year remaining.