When Dwight Howard announced he was taking his game to Houston, the rest of the basketball world assumed that meant the team would hang onto Pau Gasol. With the team’s former center gone, L.A. will still need a formidable big man roaming the paint.
After rumors that the team might attempt to use their Amnesty provision on Gasol this summer, it’s now being reported by Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, that indeed the team will not cut Gasol, and plans on keeping him on the roster.
Now that Howard is gone, there will be no talk or discussion about using the amnesty provision on forward Pau Gasol anymore, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com Friday night.
This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise, considering the team was waiting for Howard’s decision to see what moves to make next.
So what will Gasol’s role be on a Laker team that suddenly lost their most athletic player? Odds are he’ll slide over to his natural position at center, which presents several matchup problems for opposing teams. While he was rendered relatively useless as a stretch four in the team’s offensive system a year ago due to an inability to consistently make outside shots, his midrange game will be featured prominently next season, as well as his skilled post game.
Obviously Gasol’s age and injury issues will be a concern for the team moving forward, but after mentioning numerous times his unhappiness in last year’s role, I’m sure he’ll be more than willing to get back into a position where he feels more comfortable.
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