As the uncertainty surrounding free agent Pau Gasol continues to grow, many believe that Gasol will leave the Lakers and sign with a contender this off-season.
In an article on Marca.com, Gasol expressed his gratitude about Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak making Gasol a priority in free agency this summer. He would also add that, at this time, he has no first or second option in free agency:
I appreciate [Mitch] Kupchak’s words about his interest in re-signing me. It’s always important to feel wanted. Today there’s no first or second option. We’ll see when the time comes.
Earlier in the season, the Lakers center expressed his frustration with the ‘small ball’ style of play preferred by head coach Mike D’Antoni leading some to speculate that he wouldn’t return if D’Antoni is still the coach.
Despite the frustration, and injuries suffered by Gasol and the rest of the Lakers, he was able to nearly average a double-double this season, posting up 17.4 points, and 9.7 rebounds in 60 games played.
During his exit interview, the two-time NBA champion also said that he envisions himself playing for five more years, and that his relationship with Kobe Bryant would be a major reason that he would stay in Los Angeles.
With both Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman joining Gasol in free agency this summer, the Lakers may be looking at an entirely new front court next season. Both Gasol, and the Lakers will have a lot of things to figure out before July 1 comes.
Nick Swaggy P Young Lakers Highlights, #StaySwag Billboard Campaign