Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol has been on the trading block for the Los Angeles Lakers for the past few years now with the team exploring trades for the veteran seemingly nonstop. Although nothing is set in stone at this point, the Lakers appear to be more interested in keeping Gasol rather than trading him, according to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
The Los Angeles Lakers have decided — at least for now – that they’re better off keeping four-time All-Star center Pau Gasol, according to sources close to the situation.
With the Lakers struggling in the first few months of the season, the trade rumors surrounding Gasol have started to kick into high gear. As no stranger to rumors, Gasol wasn’t affected by the speculation as usual, but many believed that if he were going to get dealt it would be this year.
Gasol is in the final year of his deal with the Lakers and will become an unrestricted free agent this summer as a result. With the Lakers making an effort to clear the books before the free agency period in July, there’s been a lot of debate about whether Gasol is in the team’s long-term plans.
Considering the fact that Kobe Bryant has been Gasol’s biggest supporter over the years and recently signed a lucrative two-year extension with the team, the superstar may have had a role in keeping the Spaniard in Los Angeles a little longer.
Although the team is currently intending on keeping the four-time All-Star, that may very well change between now and the NBA trade deadline on Feb. 20.
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