Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Calls Pau Gasol A ‘Priority’ In Free Agency Reviewed by Momizat on . [new_royalslider id="130"] Pau Gasol received a standing ovation during the Lakers final home game, not only because of everything he's done for the team, but a [new_royalslider id="130"] Pau Gasol received a standing ovation during the Lakers final home game, not only because of everything he's done for the team, but a Rating: 0
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Lakers News: Mitch Kupchak Calls Pau Gasol A ‘Priority’ In Free Agency

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Pau Gasol received a standing ovation during the Lakers final home game, not only because of everything he’s done for the team, but also because many believed it was Gasol’s final home game as a Laker.

With Gasol becoming a free agent after this season and his well-publicized disputes with head coach Mike D’Antoni, many believe that Gasol will head to a contender in the off-season.

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While that may happen, the Lakers are not just content to let Gasol walk away. According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, General Manager Mitch Kupchak spoke about keeping Gasol during the Lakers exit interviews today:

One day, Gasol should have his jersey hanging in the rafters of Staples Center. It would have to be difficult to just let someone who has done so much for the franchise just walk away. The Lakers are sure to pursue Gasol, but the question is how much are they willing to pay him.

Despite a disappointing season as a team, Gasol nearly averaged a double-double this season and had flashes where he resembled the All-Star player he was in 2009.

Gasol said that he plans on playing five more years, and remaining in Los Angeles is a possibility, especially because of his closeness with Kobe Bryant.

The Lakers seem keen on keeping him here at the right price, so if the two sides can come to an agreement, the Spaniard may be back in purple and gold next year.
Pau Gasol Receives Standing Ovation In Final Lakers Home Game

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About The Author

Corey is currently a full-time staff writer for Lakers Nation. He is a passionate follower of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Cowboys and can usually be seen arguing the merits of Kobe Bryant or cursing the decisions of Jerry Jones. He is also a former producer and associate producer for Sirius XM Sports Radio. Follow him on twitter @TheeCoreyH

Number of Entries : 891
  • Josh

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Vertigo is the best thing that’s happened to the Lakers’ chances of resigning Pau. It will drastically lower his free market value, giving the Lakers a chance to sign him to a contract similar to other above-average bigs like Spencer Hawes and Marcin Gortat. Plus, Pau is now saying he wants to play 5 more years. You think that’s a coincidence with the Lakers being the only team that can offer him a 5 year deal? I say he come back for 5 years, $40 million. Hill will be gone, which means Kaman might stick around for another $3 million deal.

    • sergio

      Gasol with Sacre backing him up would be ideal. Kelly can be the back up 4 and they need a starting PF because Jordan Hill is good but he doesnt stretch the floor much, it would crowd Gasol in the paint. Maybe Hill develops a consistent mid rang jumper ala David West. This summer is going to be crazy!!

      • kookiebuger

        If the Lakers are targeting Love next year then don’t expect a huge roster over haul it will be more of the same next year.

      • Josh

        Not gonna happen with Hill. He tried to develop a 3 point shot at MDA’s suggestion last summer. He’s just a hustle guy under the basket. There’s definitely a place for guys like that in the league, but he’s not versatile enough for a D’Antoni offense.

    • kookiebuger

      Do you really want Gasol for another 5 years? He missed a total of 55 games the past 2 years from injury/illness he will only become more injury prone as he gets older. Gasol played well this year but you also have to realize he was the1st option on a really bad team so his stats are inflated, if the Lakers bring him back it should be a 1 year 10 million dollar deal.

      • cj

        hes played on the most injured team in the nba over the last two years. all of paus injurys have been wear and tear. if he is brought back with a better coach and a healthy team he would not go down as much.

        • kookiebuger

          That’s based on what? I understand Mike is running his players down to the ground but what’s to say Pau’s injuries isn’t based on him regressing/age? He isn’t the same Pau from 2009-2010 and a rebuilding team shouldn’t be foolish and resign players who’s health and game is a question mark like Gasol.

          • nlruizjr

            Sorry but his stats are not that far off from his 09/10 stats and pretty competitive regarding other PF’s.

          • cj

            paus stats when healthy are near his title run numbers. he is slower so he not as good of a help defender but he can still guard his own man and his post and mid ranged skills are top notch.

      • Josh

        I’m not expecting him to be a starter you count on for 5 years. That’s what will bring his salary down to something the Lakers can work with. He’ll start when able and play limited minutes. A one-year deal is worthless both to the Lakers and to Pau. No since offering him anything less than two years.

  • Jim213

    IMO, hopefully Pau goes elsewhere. Otherwise, the trade rumors will continue until he’s actually traded or is used as an expiring contract someday. But seems that the only plan FO has is to retain players?

    Either FO’s scared of change and regresses to their own bad habits or they have no clear cut plan and seem to be rolling the dice in a sense that they believe Gasol will show his best down the line.

    • cj

      there are no upgrades out there for pau. if he took a 5 year 45mill deal he would be a steal.

      • Jim213

        Disagree, currently it doesn’t look that way but a trade or waiting until 2015FA or 2016FA will have better options for the future. Wouldn’t sign Pau to a five year deal unless it was a sign and trade.

  • JLaker85

    If they resign that bum it would be the second worse mistake the lakers made

  • TheTruthKills

    Pau to the Spurs or Grizzlies. You heard it here first.

  • Sergio

    Gasol needs a guy next to him to pick up the slack on rebounds and possibly stretch the floor at the 4 spot. If he is a good team defender then that would be great! This team needs guys who can fit around kobe and gasol. Luol Deng should be considered or Kyle Lowry.

  • Danny E. Pagan

    Let Pau go, or bring him back as a bench players his days as a starter are gone. His defense is simply atrocious at this point. Problem is people giving Pau a pass because they bought into the whole he is not playing good because D’antoni is not using him the way he is supposed to use him and all that nonsense but once D’antoni is fired and people don’t have that D’antoni excuse all the blind Pau fans gonna finally realize that the problem wasn’t D’antoni the problem is Pau being too slow to keep up with todays smaller and faster PFs.

    • Keith

      Pau is “the teacher’s pet” by fans. Hell, even Kobe these past few years have gotten more criticism for his defense (and rightfully so). But come out and call out Pau for his piss-poor “ole” defense and here you get people crying “Hey man! He won us 2 rings” or my favorite “But, but, that’s not his game though blah blah blah”. So what, it’s ok then and you accept that the Lakers pretty much play 4 on 5 on defense when Pau is out on the floor?!?

      • Shannon

        Um no he isn’t. People and the media alike have been shitting on Pau for the last 2 years, where have you been? Read the websites, non-Lakers one first and see how people think we Lakers fans treat him. He is no ones favorite.

    • nlruizjr

      Yeah, on the other hand, the other smaller PF have a problem handling Pau, so it washes out !!!!

  • 3339

    When are they going to put billboards up all over LA begging him to stay?

  • Jamar

    Well, I guess protecting the damn paint isn’t a priority next season.

  • Chad

    SMH. Yeah, just go ahead and cling to the freaking past. Why not bring back D-Fish too and Rick Fox? I swear, Pau could have glaucoma, a walker, and a dialysis bag hanging on his waist, and the Front Office and many fans would still want to spend to keep him on the roster.

    • Shannon

      Who do you replace him with? Who is available?

    • nlruizjr

      and he’d still be better than 80% of PF and C in the league, that’s why the Lakers don’t want to let him go just yet, I think they know a lot better than you, plus it’s their money, not yours, deal with it !!!!!

  • J Taylor

    Pau @ $8M and Kobe @ $23M gives the team a 40-45ppg solution for $30M.
    Surround the 2 old guys with 3 young fast guys and the team balance should be restored.

    Hill, Young, Meeks, Henry, Farmar and Bazemore should be priorities to retain also.

  • Shannon

    Great news. Pau puts up 18 and 10 and as he got healthier was blocking shots. Big men don’t grow on trees, you all say let him walk and you’ll cry later when he beasting on another team. They just need another big to play with him that can protect the paint a little.

    • kookiebuger

      Homie he is regressing as a player he had a phenomenal year with the Lakers but he is also 33 years missed 55 games in the last 2 years, and was the 1st option on a D-League team.

      • Shannon

        He’s not regressing when he’s still effective and no big man is available this summer is better than he is. So you let him walk based on a few injuries when he still puts up 18 and 10? What? And how old was Kobe when we won our last title? Who do you replace Pau with if you let him go? WHO?

        • kookiebuger

          The Lakers might draft Emiid in the draft if not then they can target Okafur or Gortart at center. If they Lakers can’t get any of them then they should try small ball. Gasol is 33 years and will only go down hill from here.

          • nlruizjr

            no one you mentioned can out play Gasol and Mitch knows that !!!!

          • Ted

            Amir Johnson and Nene dropped 30 on Pau and Plumlee dropped 20 & 15. Anybody is capable of outplaying Pau nowadays

          • Shannon

            Well we aren’t talking about “ifs”. We are talking right now if they should bring him back or not. You’d rather bring in a risky rookie? Why not keep Pau and draft him too then. Okafor? OKAFOR? You can’t be serious right now. He’s almost as old as Pau, but less talented and even more injured. Gortat gives you much less than Pau offensively for what? More defensively? I doubt it. Hell to the no.

            Pau is 4th in scoring and 9th in rebounding and that’s during his so called “bad season” with many games missed due to injury. No thanks I’d rather keep him. Too many of you are caught up in what other people and the media says. I bet Phil would snatch him up in heartbeat for the Knicks!

          • Reaper

            Yeah, the same Phil who smacked him and cursed him out on live TV for his soft play vs the Mavs. Paus 18 & 10 isn’t as impressive given it is padded during a LOT of blowouts and garbage time when teams pretty much have their 2nd units out there.

          • Shannon

            Phil just signed crackhead Lamar, you really think he wouldn’t sign PAU simply because of one incident? Phil is always criticizing Pau and joking with him but he isn’t stupid enough to think he’s unworthy of a deal.

            As for his numbers coming during blowouts and garbage time that is an outright lie and total b.s. I watched every single game, sadly, and that is not true.

        • Paul

          You lost your case when uouvsaid “he’s not regressing”

          • Shannon

            He’s putting up 18 and 10. If that’s regressing then he’s regressing. Saying I lost my case while not having an argument for your case or against mines makes your comment invalid.

    • Garry

      Bad news, Pau gets you 18 & 10, but his man on the other end drops career & season highs on him, and the Lakers again allow the most pts in the paint next season. His beasting days are over when everyone from Aldridge to Griffin and Amir Johnson to Markief Morris is beasting back in him even worse.

      • Shannon

        And what center in the 2014 free agent pool will the Lakers acquire who can put up his numbers, or better AND protect the paint against the likes of Griffin? That’s not all on Pau either, the whole team defensively sucked. He can’t save the whole team. I said keep him and try and find someone to pair with him who is better at defense. Then you get other better players to replace the scrubs we have now and those guys won’t even make it to the paint to score. There is no one better, you keep what you know and what you will get. We have to be patient. At least for the meanwhile be loyal to one of our own.

  • Rick Fox

    I think Mitch is leaving the door open on all players. I mean its not like he’ll have Pau signed at exactly July 1st at 9:01am kinda thing. But like he kept saying, there is nothing certain until May 20 hits and until the playoffs are over. Its wishful thinking, but what if they end up in the top 3 pick and can pick up a guy like Wiggins, Embiid (really dont want to draft anyone already having injury problems), or Parker, then you start to look at other pieces. Obviously, if we end up with a SF in one of those players, then we decide on the other voids. But overall, why should the FO waste their time right now on thinking of plans A-Z, when they can start thinking about the situation more come May 20.

  • John Z Prosise

    That Verigo sht was BS ..and Pau is too slow , iffy shooter …Nope , we need a Fast , Hard Hitting , Big Man who can shoot 15 footers with ease…Kobe over paid , but too late for that …Keep Meeks , Xavier, Young , Bazemore, Sacre , Farmar , and get rid of the rest ………..

  • Movethefon

    Yeah, go ahead and tie up 4 yrs at 36-44mil to this guy and mortgage the future even more. I get loyalty, but this mentality is Blind freakin loyalty. Damn the fans and the front office clinging to the past that has run it’s course. The goal is to set up the franchise the next 5+ Yrs. Anybody who seriously believes Pau hasn’t regressed us high on something strong and illegal.

  • SerenaWinters< 3


  • roscoe

    I would rather have Monroe, 10 years younger. Or try and get utah to trade Kanter or Houston to trade Asik

  • Kenneth Robinson

    I appreciate all that Gasol has done for the Lakers. Naturally you want to honor him well, but how much?

  • comrade24

    It definitely seems like the next step for the franchise will be acquiring Kevin Love. I just worry about the defense of a frontline that features Kevin Love and Pau Gasol.

  • KB24

    IF WE SOMEHOW RE-sign pau to a multi yr. deal and draft EMBIID and LOVE being our target in FREE AGENCY,HILL is the odd man out or if pau signs somewhere,lakers draft embiid then sign love and hill,young,etc. but if we land wiggins, theres no need to sign durant so we can have a trio in frontcourt of LOVE-gasol-hill

  • LakersBelieverPH

    Everything will fall into pieces. Lakers draft pick will decide on PAU’s fate. Right now all are just opinions and speculations and nothing assure us on what FO will do. Just wait and see until lakers land on TOP 3 pick thats the only time FO starts deciding.

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