It seems as if Pau Gasol is in the middle of his last season with the Los Angeles Lakers. Whether he will be gone after the season or before the deadline has yet to be seen, but there is clearly too much friction between the two parties for this to end well.
The latest report has Gasol going to the Cavaliers for Andrew Bynum, and the Lakers would then waive Bynum to save over 20 million dollars. This isn’t the first time Gasol has been involved in trade rumors, as his name has surfaced in them since 2011–including the time he was actually traded to the Rockets in the Chris Paul deal (and then David Stern said nope). So, what does Gasol think of all this? According to ESPN, he is just rolling along:
“If something happens, so be it,” Gasol said. “If it doesn’t, I’ll just try to do a better job of trying to help our team have the best chance possible.
“It’s kind of out of my control. I’d like to continue to be here. It’s been my home for the good and the bad and everything else. I can’t control what ownership and the franchise want to do in moving forward. We’re struggling right now, and that doesn’t help.”
If you ask me, Gasol will stay in LA. The Lakers will most likely keep Gasol because they do not want salary in return for him, and most teams won’t take an aging forward without some salary dumping. There have been a lot of issues with the Lakers and Gasol this season, including his battle with sickness, and Los Angeles is starting to question his dedication.
Many people have ruled out the idea of Gasol re-signing in LA after the season. He clearly wants to stay in Los Angeles (look at his comments), and if he is willing to come back on a discount, then shouldn’t be viewed as impossible.
Gasol has given the Lakers two titles and an all-star level campaign for the last five years, and his jersey should be hanging in Staples Center after he retires. Divorces are never pretty, and let’s hope this one doesn’t change the way he is viewed as a Laker.