Pau Gasol’s outlook on tonight’s game between the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers could’ve been much different had things gone differently in the recent trade talks. Gasol seemed destined to be headed to Cleveland in exchange for his former teammate Andrew Bynum, but at the last minute the Cavs chose to go with the deal on the table from the Chicago Bulls.
Gasol reflected on the failed trade on Tuesday and how things would’ve been much different heading into tonight’s game if it had gone down as intended, according to Mary Schmitt Boyer of the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
“It would have been different,” he admitted. “It would have been weird. It would have been a process — just like it would if it happened with any other team. Then so quickly come back to the home that has been your home so long, and then it’s not your home any more, it would have been weird. It’s something that didn’t happen, something that might happen [being traded somewhere, not necessarily Cleveland], but it still hasn’t.”
Even though the Lakers were unable to pull the trigger on the deal to send Gasol to Cleveland, the storied franchise is more than likely still gauging trade interest around the league. The NBA trade deadline is on Feb. 20 this year, giving the Lakers more than a month to find another trade partner for Gasol.
In the meantime, the two-time NBA champion will continue to go through the motions in Los Angeles while awaiting his fate. Even if the Lakers are unable to trade Gasol before the deadline, the team will likely part ways with the veteran forward in the off-season.
Gasol will become an unrestricted free agent this summer and all indications are pointing toward the Lakers simply letting him walk in free agency. With that being said, Gasol’s future is up in the air at this point with no telling where he might be playing next season and beyond.
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