Pau Gasol has been in constant trade rumors for at least three seasons now, and with his $19 million coming off the books this summer, Gasol as a trade piece has become even more valuable for other teams looking to get under the cap or avoid repeater taxes.
Gasol has been rumored to be moved for the New York Knicks’ Tyson Chandler in recent weeks, but it appears as if the Lakers could be looking to retain Gasol, according to ESPN.
The Lakers are still assessing their long-term plans and whether there’s a way to keep Gasol beyond this season, with the 33-year-old headed for unrestricted free agency in July. Sources say that team officials have communicated to Gasol in various ways that they remain interested in keeping him in L.A. beyond this season.
How much money the Lakers would be able to offer Gasol remains to be seen as the Lakers recently extended Kobe Bryant for two more years worth $48 million dollars, keeping him the highest paid basketball player in the NBA.
For many, that meant that Gasol would be expendable — and those sentiments became even more apparent when Gasol and head coach Mike D’Antoni got into a rift via the media.
Things have calmed down a bit since, and Gasol has played better as of late, recording 21 points and nine rebounds in a win over the Grizzlies to end the Lakers four-game road trip. If the reports are true, Gasol will finish his contract as a member of the Lakers after seven years with the team, and it looks as if there may be an eighth year if the two sides can agree to terms on an extension.
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