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Loving and Letting Go Of Two-Time Champion, Pau Gasol Reviewed by Momizat on . “Stay down with my day one (expletive), and we in the club screaming ‘No new friends, no new friends, no new friends, no no no.”  -Drake Contrary to the notion “Stay down with my day one (expletive), and we in the club screaming ‘No new friends, no new friends, no new friends, no no no.”  -Drake Contrary to the notion Rating: 0
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Loving and Letting Go Of Two-Time Champion, Pau Gasol

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“Stay down with my day one (expletive), and we in the club screaming ‘No new friends, no new friends, no new friends, no no no.”  -Drake

Contrary to the notion put forth by the part-time Miami Heat groupie and full-time Global Ambassador of the Toronto Raptors, the changing of social circles is actually quite acceptable. According to a study done by Dutch sociologist, Gerald Mollenhorst, we lose and replace half our friends approximately every seven years.

At the conclusion of this season, Pau Gasol has now been a Los Angeles Laker for six-and-a-half years.

Fans of the club have experienced the optimal highs with the Spaniard (three consecutive finals appearances from 2008-2010) to the head shaking lows that were epitomized by this season’s consistent lackadaisical effort, sitting out multiple games due to a upper respiratory infection (also known as a common cold)  and symptoms of vertigo.

But all good things must come to an end, as they say, and with Gasol’s contract officially up, there is no better time to mutually part ways than now.

As with most relationships that clicked ever so seamlessly at one point, saying goodbye is the toughest part, as both sides romanticize the past and everything they have been through together. But at one point or another, the realization sets in that the only thing left in common between the two parties is the moments you’ve shared.

Pau Gasol arrived with the Lakers in the middle of the 2007-08 season in a heist pulled off by Mitch Kupchak, to serve as the quintessential second banana to Kobe Bryant.  Fast forward to current day, and he may finish his career with a season where he was forced to be the Lakers’ one-and-only legitimate star for so much of the season due to crippling injuries to Kobe and Steve Nash, which saw them miss 143 games combined.

Gasol functions best in the role he was initially brought to the Lakers for, not for the role he ended up having to carry. The most telling Pau Gasol statistic is that he has never won a single playoff game without Bryant at his side (0-16).

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But nevertheless, he was the seventh-highest paid player in the NBA this year at $19.3 million, just ahead of a guy named LeBron James. Now, the front office could always decide to bring him back at a discounted rate of course, but what would be the point, unless Mitch is feeling extra sentimental after listening to Vitamin C’s timeless track, Graduation, on loop.

The player and the organization are heading down two very different tracks. Gasol would like to maximize the last couple years of his career with a chance to increase his ring count, playing alongside his brother, Marc, in Memphis would make much more sense for him. Meanwhile, the Lakers are looking to cost-cut and bargain hunt in the free agent market for another summer in hopes for landing the next franchise cornerstone in the summer of 2015.

Ever since the club’s quest to three-peat was extinguished by Dirk and the Mavericks in May of 2011, Gasol’s name has swirled in trade rumours from everyone from Kevin Love to Andrea Bargnani, he was even actually traded to Houston in the now infamous Chris Paul trade. Yet somehow, someway he has remained a Laker over and over, surviving trade deadline after trade deadline; and more importantly, he has remained the constant professional up until all hope was lost this year when Kobe’s knee gave out.

If Gasol decides to sign a contract with another team this summer, his last time appearing in a Laker uniform would have been April 1 at home versus Portland, a game where he was overwhelmed by the Blazers’ front court.

However, what I will remember as Pau’s parting moment was last year in Game 4 versus the Spurs, when he exited the game. The look of defeat in his face as he walked off the floor knowing he gave it his all in a hopeless cause. As he sat down on the bench, he immediately put his head between his gigantic palms. Shortly after, Kobe hobbled over to console his partner in crime.

paukobeembrace

Gasol deserves to play meaningful basketball, once more, as do the Lakers, and the best way for both of them to get there the fastest may be a painful, yet appropriate parting of ways this summer.

Adios for now, Pau.

We hardly knew ‘ye.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Lakers Pau Gasol Says Kobe Bryant A Deciding Factor This Summer


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About The Author

Lee joined Lakers Nation in 2011 as a staff writer and attended Ryerson University in Toronto for journalism. To read more of Gabe's work for Lakers Nation click here. Follow Gabe on Twitter @therealgaber.

Number of Entries : 92
  • oNeDelusion

    #stayPau

    • LegendInMyMind

      Why not just “Stay Pau”, why’s it need a hashtag, lol? When is this trend gonna die!?!

      • oNeDelusion

        It is a parody to awful #stayD12 billboards. That is why. Cause Pau is the guy who really deserves them.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Who the hell is going to be the Lakers big man if Pau Gasol leaves???

    • Josh

      Bob Sacre! That has title-bound written all over it! On a serious not, the Lakers could get Gortat, Hawes, Monroe, Okafor, or Kaman if Pau leaves. I’d really like to see Pau back along with either Kaman or Gortat.

      • Haji

        Not if they keep D’Antoni as coach. Do that and Kaman is GONE with no hope of signing him.

        • Josh

          I’m pretty sure Kaman said he could see himself coming back. With Jordan Hill leaving, Kaman would definitely be a major rotation player, and would probably start 20-25 games when Pau sits out because he’s too dizzy to play.

      • Shannon

        If they keep D’Antoni….*hold on while I take the gun out of my mouth* Hawes would be his dream center but is he any better than Pau defensively? Is Gortat worth it when hes over 30 and gives less offense than Pau? Okafor has a serious injury, that’d be dumb to get him. Monroe isn’t that great a defender from what I hear(I honestly haven’t seen him play enough) but I do like the idea of getting him and keeping Pau.

        • Spitfire

          Okafor is the better choice. A very good defensive minded big man who can rebound, block shot and defend the rim, which the Lakers needed very badly.
          Pau sure is a talented big man but he doesnt solve any Lakers problem on the defensive end. I bet you even Thibs is the coach here, the other will feast inside the paint cos Pau cannot defend the paint AT ALL.

          • Shannon

            Okafor has a herniated disk and has not played at all this season, so you gamble on that instead? I doubt the Lakers do. Team defense. Better defensive guards and forwards. I like Greg Monroe and Pau together better.

          • Josh

            I wouldn’t put them together unless the other three players are all elite defenders. And if Kobe is out there, we know they are not. I would rather pair Pau with Luol Deng or Marcin Gortat.

          • Computer Networking

            I like that idea, but the problem is the Lakers need to be able to bring in rebounder that are not going to cost them a lot. They have to get a productive small forward and point guard. I love pau, but if they let him go, that would open the door for a team like lowry, kobe, deng, hill, and monroe. The cap went up 6 million giving the Lakers 28 million. They should waive Nash which would then give them an extra 6 million (34 million). If they did this you could pair gasol and monroe for about 16 million leaving 18 million, then bring in deng and lowry. Now the Lakers would put themselves in the greatest position possible. They would have trade assets with options. If they were willing to give up their Draft pick with gasol to get love, they could without breaking the salary cap or they could just keep their Draft pick. The Lakers are eyeing irving who isn’t going to resign with cleveland. Trade lowry for irving by the trade deadline and they would still be under the salary cap. There are many options and they lakers could very well be a contender.

          • Josh

            Monroe, Kobe, and Pau/KLove on the floor at the same time would be a disaster at the defensive end. It might be even worse than this season.

          • Computer Networking

            That’s not true. Defense is not just shot blocking. Monroe and gasol or gasol and love would be able to control the boards. What they would need to work on is creating tough shots for opponents, but if you look at it, more games are won by controlling the boards than steals and blocks put together. By controlling the boards you minimize the opponents transition and second chance points. Controlling the boards would also raise the offensive points average per game. I would rather have the rebounds than the blocks. You only get a few blocks per game which really doesn’t do anything for you unless you are at the end of a game.

          • Josh

            I agree. Shot blocking is probably the most overrated stat on any box score. Rebounding advantage is usually key in winning games, but not because of controlling the boards. About 75% of all rebounds go to the defensive team. In isolated games/matchups a team might give up a few extra offensive boards, but the key to “winning the glass” is forcing tough shots, not having the best rebounder. Any seven-footer can put his hands up and grab a rebound, but a team with Kobe, Gasol, and Monroe/Love is not going to force many tough shots that lead to rebounds.

          • Computer Networking

            In order for that to be true, you would have to say that no need of them are capable of creating tough shots. That’s an impossible statement. I believe that any of those combos could get the job done. A coach that the players believe in would make this possible. I think avery johnson, Byron scott, or Jerry Sloan would have the best results with them

          • Spitfire

            We are talking about a defensive big man and Monroe is your choice?! Mitch has said that the Lakers will not pursue FA’s only to be in the middle of the pack. And Monroe is RFA and the Lakers will not tender an offer to Monroe IMO. As for Okafor, if he is healthy next year, i wouldnt mind bringing him here. His defensive presence will help the Lakers.
            A Monroe and Pau combo in the middle will not have an effect on the defensive only wasting the precious cap space that you will use in getting Monroe.

          • Shannon

            I guess you missed the part about him being badly injured. What health? He hasn’t played ALL SEASON yet many of you are trying to discard Pau because he missed a few games. Monroe is young and has upside. Frankly I don’t think the Lakers will do any of that because they always pull off something random and unexpected. Monroe can play a little defense and he’s young. He wants out of Detroit and they aren’t trying to keep him either.

          • Spitfire

            “Monroe can play a little defense” – that is still an issue and you pair him with Pau?! Seriously?! Pau will command a lot of money this summer and add to that the money that you will use in getting Monroe, the Pistons can match the offer regardless. The point is, some other teams will pursue Monroe and offer him the max ( he is not a max player but there are dumb GM’s in this league) and the Lakers cannot afford that. Plus, it will all depends on the lottery, if the Lakers get the 1st pick, they only have like 10M+ to spend on their own players plus FA’s.

          • Shannon

            What part of there isn’t anyone better out there do you not understand? So who do we sign? No one? Let Pau walk and don’t sign Monroe. Well that’s great. Rob Sacre can start, you’re telling me GM isn’t better than him? Pau said he isn’t interested in a big contract, he’s past that point in his career and the Lakers have his Bird rights.

          • Computer Networking

            Let’s be honest. A choice have to be made. There aren’t many defensive big men available. What everyone need to look at is what is expected from your big men. Defensive big men brings rebounds, blocks, and they create tough shots. I believe monroe should be the number candidate. He may not get you the blocks you want but he will create tough shots for his opponent and he will rebound. Don’t forget he is young so where he hasn’t developed he still has the opportunity to develop. The issue is who do you pair him with? I love gasol but he will come at too high of a price. There are other places on the team the the Lakers have to fill. My solution would be pair him with Jordan hill. He is a scrambler, the Lakers would save money that they can use for a point guard or small forward or both. Lowry and deng. Many won’t like that comment, but it gets the Lakers three things that are needed. Other solid options on offense, better defending, and trade assets (lowry for irving who is not going to resign with cleveland). This team would also be good enough to make top 6 in the west.

          • Spitfire

            Deng has turned down 12M/yr from the Bulls so he will command more than that and the Lakers will never usef that kind of money on FA this summer unless it will help them a lot going forward

          • Computer Networking

            The thing is, no team is going to give him the money he wants. That’s why the Lakers could spend 10 or less on him

          • Chrmngblly

            Sign and trade Gasol for Tyson Chandler.

          • Computer Networking

            So you do know that chandler makes 14 mill this season. I like chandler and he is physical, but I don’t see paying him 14 million. Like I said before, there are a world of possibilities, but the fo has to be smart about it. Easiest solution is to go after rebounder down low that won’t break the bank, bring in a productive point guard, waive Nash and just give him the 3 million over the next 3 years, bring in the best sf you can. If you did this, what you would be looking at is Kyle lowry or Eric Bledsoe at point, kobe at shooting, deng at small forward or you can bring in beasley for cheap, boozer or monroe to team up with pau or let pau go and get the both of them.

          • Chrmngblly

            What we should worry about the most is overpaying for some average schlobo like Monroe that is still a defensive liability and being stuck for a long time in mediocrity. If we got Embiid we would still need someone else for 2-3 years.
            We still have to bring Meeks and Swaggy back. Letting either of them go would be dumb. I say move Kobe to the 3 so Meeks can play and we won’t have to spring for Deng.

          • Computer Networking

            Lowry is an unrestricted fa. So Toronto has no say so in the matter. Monroe won’t get a contract hire than 8-9 million and Detroit won’t go that high because they have spots that they have to fill. Embiid will not be available by the time the Lakers get a pick and also his back injury makes him a liability. Chandler will be available next season for little to nothing if u still want him and it’s funny that you are concerned about defensive liabilities because playing Meeks at the 2 on a starting roster is a defensive liability. If you look, starting forwards have killed Meeks for the last two seasons, but you want to play him at 2 and kobe at 3? Then you have to worry about kobe at the 3 because the 3 position have been getting bigger and stronger over the years. Once you sustain a serious injury, it’s easier to do it again. I think that playing kobe at the three is a health liability.

          • Chrmngblly

            No. Kobe can bulk up, but no one can speed up. He’ big anyway so I think he would be better at the 3. Meeks really grew defensively last year, so if you look closer, you might like him. Regardless, maybe Basemore, Young or Henry—or Exum would suit you. MDA preferred Meeks.
            Going forward, Kobe will be better at the three, no question. What I am worried about is if our draft position is bad enough, the best athlete available will be Aaron Gordon–a true freak–but he plays the three.

            It is going to be tough, which is why I was interested in Tyson Chandler. We might have to resign Pau and hang on to him for 6 months in order to make the trade happen legally, but it is possible. We inquired about TC a year ago, anyway, but the Knicks were not willing back then. With Phil going to the triangle, I know they will be interested in Pau again.

            I like Lowry. I just don’t think Mitch thinks he is enough better than Farmar to spend the cash. I like Marshall, myself. He is an all-star distributor already. He has gifts–and he listens to Nash. Maybe he will grow enough to be our PG. We only need so many gunners especially with Kobe coming back. My worry is Kobe will be a ball hog, as he was in times past.

          • Computer Networking

            I can agree with what you are saying for the most part. I do believe that chandler will be available. Phil told the players that some of them won’t be there at the start of next season. They can’t let stoudemire go because he has a player option, carmelo is going to resign because of the moves that Phil is going to make, the next biggest contract that would allow them to build is chandler. So it probably will be a sign and trade between the Lakers and the knicks. I just hope that the Lakers try to get Hardaway in that trade somehow. Kobe is a ballhog because he doesn’t trust the players around him. The only players you ever saw him really pass to is shaq, gasol, and artest. Hardaway would give him a trustworthy person to pass to. I like meeks, I just believe his service would be best coming off the bench. Marshall is a good point guard but right now he is just not that trustworthy to me. Once again, perfect coming off the bench. I believe that the Lakers should waive Nash and give him the 3 million for three years. The cap just went up 6 million and waiving Nash would give the Lakers another 6 million. That’s 34 million to spend. So let’s say that they did get chandler, you still need someone down low who has a post game. Who would you go after?

          • Chrmngblly

            Hill. Kobe also likes the post, strangely. Maybe bring back Earl Clark. If you want to leave the PF spot open for Love, you leave Kelly and friends to man the 4.
            Whoever we have for a coach—and it may be MDA or son-of-MDA—they will most likely play a similar offense but will also emphasize D. So they will want a “stretch 4″.
            I agree about Marshall except I think Kobe will trust him to pass the ball more than shoot it, KM’s passing is that good.

          • Computer Networking

            We have to keep in mind that the Lakers have to create a team that love is going to feel is capable of winning a championship. No matter how everyone feels about him, he is the prize that the Lakers are going to go after. That’s one of the reasons I have been making the statements that I have been making. Love likes monroe. He has stated that he respects his game. Lowry is someone that the Lakers like. They wanted him before he was traded to toronto. Deng because of his defense. By releasing nash, all of this is possible. As much as I wouldn’t want to, it is best to let gasol walk. Resign hill to 5 million, sign monroe to 6 million, lowry 8 million, beasley 5 million. Trade pick and hill for love which keeps the Lakers under the cap and makes the Lakers contenders. Once this is done, by cba rules, teams can go over the cap only for Draft picks and resigning players. Marshall, bazemore, young. Kelly, and sacre is already on the bench, farmar, and meeks. Now the Lakers have trade assets so trade lowry for irving by the trade deadline.

            Irving/marshall/farmar
            Kobe/meeks
            Beasley/bazemore/young
            Love/Kelly
            Monroe/sacre

          • Chrmngblly

            I doubt Mitch will make all the role-player trades you suggest. I respect your reasoning, though, and I was thinking that way, too, until I listened to Mitch talk yesterday. Monroe, Beasley and Lowrey, I really doubt come our way. At best, these guys are only marginal improvements which Mitch said he won’t go after. I like Lowrey but Marshall has too much potential and Farmar is already almost as good.

            Then there are necessities—like getting a defensive center. This is why I suggested a Pau for Tyson Chandler sign and trade. Or we just sign Pau, which is no improvement, but way better than journeymen like Monroe and Davis.

            I also don’t mind stretching Nash, if it serves some purpose.

          • Computer Networking

            I believe gasol is going to go to new york which will bring chandler to LA. I believe that the Lakers are going to go after deng also but I don’t think we are going to get him because the bulls are going to go back after him after carmelo resigns with new york. I believe mitch will get lowry. The rest is just hopeful, but if mitch doesn’t get a piece that will play well with love, he will be in new york next season also. The knicks will be done with stoudemire’s 23 million a year contract and they will be done with bargnani’s Contract also. They will have a crazy amount of money to spend and they will max Kevin love and he will play with gasol and the knicks have already been linked to rondo for that year also. If mitch doesn’t do something special this off season, the Lakers are looking at a long hard road.

          • Chrmngblly

            Yes. I believe we have to fear Phil as a competitor in the future. But that does not mean we can’t do clean business with the guy. What you say does point out the perils of relying on our being able to offer Love a max deal to make him a deal he will bite on. I personally think we should bank on not getting Love to guide our efforts. There are going to be other guys, anyway.

            I don’t think we will see Deng in LA, either, depending on the draft and what spot Kobe plays. Do you want to let Meeks go? Will he come back to play as a back-up?

          • Computer Networking

            I think that Phil is going to go after gasol which puts the Lakers in a position to get a sign and trade for chandler. If the fo resign gasol, they will possibly go after got at which wouldn’t be a terrible move at all. I think that mitch will resign bazemore, meeks, hill, and kelly, and young. I think that bazemore will play the 3 which is a good move also because he can create his own shot and he is athletic. I like bazemore. Playing beside kobe will only make him a more useful tool. I think that the bench should stay the same. Regardless of the season, the Lakers had one of the best benches in the league statistically and it doesn’t hurt that they played with each other and developed some cchemistry. I don’t want to admit it, but I believe that this actually is the best case scenario for the lakers.

          • Chrmngblly

            Yep, something like what you just said is most likely. But also most likely we draft Aaron Gordon at the 3.

          • Josh

            I thought Aaron Gordon was a 4? Everything I’ve seen on him says he is a clone of Blake Griffin.

          • Chrmngblly

            He is a clone except smaller. He is a 3 and a good defender. Freak athlete.

          • Josh

            I haven’t seen him, so thanks for the info.

          • Josh

            Beasley for $5 million? He’s on a minimum contract this year and doesn’t deserve more than $3 million. Someone will pay Hill $8-10 million, and even then it would take a pick and another player to make a trade work for Love. And all the Lakers current players count as cap holds toward the salary cap for next season, so they factor into the ability to sign new players.

          • Computer Networking

            Appreciate the info. Beasley is on a minimum contract because he was bought out of his contract in Phoenix which was somewhere in the range of 8-10 million and he has been having a great season coming off the bench in miami. No one can deny that. If the Lakers don’t offer 5 someone else will. Even though hill is worth 8-10 doesn’t mean he will get it. Hill wants a bigger role with the lakers. He would accept 5 with at least 3 years on the contract. All I’m saying is if mitch doesn’t make a move this season, the Lakers are in trouble for the next 3 to 5 years.

          • Chrmngblly

            They count as holds until they are signed somewhere.

          • Josh

            Exactly. Meaning the Lakers can’t just go up to the cap before considering whether to bring back current players. They have to be resigned to cheaper contracts or renounced before they offer any cap relief/flexibility.

          • Chrmngblly

            And that will just play itself out naturally over the summer. We can agree to deals but not execute them until our ducks all line up right.

          • Josh

            Some people seem to think the Lakers can sign free agents from other teams up to the cap limit, and then negotiate contracts with their own free agents. I’m just pointing out that cap holds prevent that from happening. The team can’t go sign Carmelo and Greg Monroe and Kyle Lowry, and then resign Pau, Young, Meeks, etc.

      • comrade24

        speaking of Bob, i wouldn’t mind having McBob back (Josh McRoberts)

        • Chrmngblly

          McRoberts is like Rob Sacre—only without a personality.

  • LakersHeatBeef

    Lakers will be weaker at center than last season if Pau leaves.That’s a scary thought.This team needs help in the frontcourt.

    • Spitfire

      Huh?!’The Lakers will be weaker at center if Pau leaves?! They are already weak at center WITH HIM on the court. What are you watching?! You all blame the coach for the defensive woes when the man in the middle cannot defend the rim?! Dont put Pau can block shot argument cos it is not the base of a defensive big man.

  • locke

    melodramatic article. not really well argued imo.

    • JamesBaxter

      and the writer went to school for journalism? lol

      • Gabriel Lee

        Thanks, both.

    • Leo

      I agree, it is a like a necrology. It assumes that Pau is gone already… no assumptions, no argumentation, and not very informative about possible replacement otions either.

  • jaycam

    Wow, a persuasive article?? At first i thought they were reporting news. Thank god its just that because the Lakers need Paul more than ever right now. He has been out most consistent player for the last two seasons and frankly he is one of the best in his game. Stop trying to trade him and realize the good the team has. We lose him and who will we put in his place? I don’t believe we can find anyone with as much skill, will, love and I for the game as him. They may have one or two aspects better but none as well rounded as the big Spaniards.

    • Chrmngblly

      You mean Pau. Tyson Chandler is the only desirable center I can see that is possibly even gettable. Phil will want him in NY bad enough to work some sort of sign and trade but that will give Phil his key triangle player, so maybe we both win. Since Phil will go after Pau regardless, doing a deal makes sense.

  • Michael N. Norris

    he will walk……..

  • comrade24

    I hear where you guys are coming from. I love Pau and he’s been great here but do we really want him back? He’s a great passer still and can put up numbers on the offense end, but his matador defense is not something we need going forward. Especially with the price he’s going to command in free agency. Our issue all season long was defense. Defense starts with paint protection and Pau just doesn’t have it anymore (wasn’t great to begin with). It would be nice if he stuck around for the right place, but i would rather spend a few mil a year on a Gortat etc.. than 8-10 mil on Pau.

    • Josh

      I think Gortat, Pau, and Spencer Hawes will all go for $6-8 million. Put some decent perimeter defense in front of him, and Pau will be just fine down low. Remember, the Lakers had the worst interior defense last season with Dwight Howard down there. If you want to stop layups, the guards and forwards have to step it up.

      • Spitfire

        Pau, Was Not fine down low. See how the other team waltzes their to the basket?! They are not intimidated by Pau in the middle cos Pau is not your typical physical center who bangs inside.
        No matter who coaches this team if Pau is your last line of defense, then you are in trouble.
        Pls dont give me the argument of Pau being the center on the Lakers championship run, because that Pau doesnt exist anymore.

        • Josh

          If a typical center is one who bangs inside, how many “typical” centers are there in the league? Um…not many. The game has evolved. Pau is like a goalie who has to defend 50 shots on goal every night. The wings don’t stop anyone from getting to the paint. What do you expect Pau to do about it? I’m not arguing that he’s a great defender or anything, but he has no support. Just like Dwight gave up a ton of points in the paint last season.

          • Spitfire

            Dwight gave up a ton of points last season cos he is not healthy. And Pau is your last line of defense, and that is why i am not into Pau re-signing here. He is not your rim defender type of guy. And Pau will ask for a lot of money that the Lakers cannot afford to give. Kobe on your perimeter D then Pau in the middle?! That’s a big trouble even if your coach is a defendive specialist in Thibs.

          • Computer Networking

            Even though I believe pau should be resigned, I would like to hear what would you do to make the team a contender next season

          • Chrmngblly

            Draft Embiid

    • Gregory Choa

      Pau’s “matador defense” becomes a moot point if the Lakers are able to acquire, ether via free agency or the draft, a rim-protecting center so as to allow Gasol to return to his more natural PF position.

      Personally, I’m in favor of re-signing Pau AT THE RIGHT PRICE…which is to say $8-9 million per season for no more than 3 years. Let’s face it, in this summer’s FA market, Pau is easily one of the top 3 players out there.

      • comrade24

        Pau’s natural position IS center and his worst seasons were when the Lakers tried to use him at PF with Bynum and again with Howard. He did nothing but complain about not getting the ball enough in the post and how he wanted to play the center position. To his credit, he played great this year (when healthy) at the Center position on offense at least. I would agree to signing him at Center for a reasonable price if the FO plan was to bring in somebody at the PF like Ibaka (not available, just an example) but it seems like the FO is enamored with Kevin Love who also is not a particularly good shot blocker. Between Kevin Love’s offensive game vs. Pau’s i’d take Love’s any day.

        • Gregory Choa

          If the Lakers were to acquire a rim protecting, defensively oriented center who does not command the ball on the offensive end, Pau will be fine at the 4, with say Ryan Kelly backing him up.

          I’m all for Kevin Love later on, but not necessarily to begin next season. The Lakers would do well to exercise a little patience and look to sign him next summer when he is unrestricted.

          • comrade24

            i agree with you there. The only option i would explore involving trading our draft pick would be for Kyrie Irving which is starting to look like a possibility. If he declines an extension this summer the Cav’s will look to trade him, seeking to avoid another “decision”. Kyrie i believe makes around 8 mil this next season so it wouldn’t hurt our cap that much.

          • Computer Networking

            The cavs are going to hold on to him until the trade deadline, so they need a trade asset to help them get him. Go get lowry and you can trade for irving later. They should try to do a sign and trade sending gasol to Memphis with his brother, Randolph going to minnesota with the Lakers first round Draft pick, and love going to LA

          • comrade24

            i like it. let’s us keep our draft pick and still acquire Love. tricks involving many teams are always tricky though

          • Computer Networking

            You are right. It can be tricky, but Memphis wants gasol and the Lakers want love. The Lakers might have to give up the first round pick to get him.

          • comrade24

            i’ve read that Memphis is only interested in Gasol if Zbo doesn’t re-sign. Honestly, after watching the Okc game last night i wouldn’t mind Zbo at all. He’s a tough guy. I’m sure he’ll be asking more than we’d be willing to pay for him though.

          • Computer Networking

            Randolph has a player option that he will probably not pick up. Memphis wants gasol because they would be able to afford extra help along with gasol. Memphis wants Randolph gone and he probably will leave because he wants to win a championship

          • Computer Networking

            Signing him next summer would be too tough to do. Phil Jackson is about to shake up new york. The entire coaching staff is already gone and he had a meeting with the players and let them know that all of them will not be back when the season starts. He will be resigning anthony and he will probably be going after rondo or lowry in the offseason. He already have the respect of players around the league. The only way you get love is to get to him first. Once he gets to LA, he won’t leave.

          • Chrmngblly

            Tyson chandler.

        • Spitfire

          Okafor if healthy is a better choice at the center next year.
          He is a very good defensive big man.

      • Spitfire

        But Pau has said that center is his best position and not at the 4.

        • Gregory Choa

          That’s nice, but with all due respect to El Jefe, it doesn’t matter what he thinks his best position is…what matters is that he has room to maneuver on the offensive end, and that the team gets some shot blocking, and a rim protecting defensive presence on the other end, and Pau is NOT that guy.

          • Computer Networking

            I agree, but I disagree. Many people are looking at shot blocking and rim protectors. Well let’s really look at this. Rim protectors finds themselves in foul trouble too often and shot blockers only give you on average 2 to 3 blocks per game. I would rather assemble a duel threat down low who can control the rebounding and just make the offender take tough shots. Gasol can do this with not problem IF you put him back at power forward and bring in a center that he can feed off of.

    • Marty Susman

      If he would sign for around $3,000,000 max for two years, then keep him, otherwise, forget it…

      • comrade24

        I would even go 10 mil, 2 years with a no trade clause (to ease pau’s mind) and 3rd year team option. let Kobe finish out his career with Pau as a teammate.

      • Leo

        You are dreaming Marty… in this years center FA market, Pau’s market price will start at min. 7 mill per year for 3-4 years. We would be lucky to get him 7 mill/y for 3 years…

    • Spitfire

      I agree with you. But how about Okafor for cheap?! He fits well for this team. A very good defensive-rim-protector big man. It will not cost the Lakers 8-10M.

    • Computer Networking

      You definitely have a good point. At the same time, if you pair gasol with a defensive minded player down low, his defense could come out more. Also, everyone is talking like he isn’t that good of a defensive player. I disagree. Defense is not only blocking shots, but there is defensive rebounding, which he is still good at. No matter who you get, they will lack something on the defensive end. I would rather 10 rebounds and create tough shots over 2 or 3 blocks per game. He is still effective on both ends. Maybe not like everyone wants him to be. That’s why you bring in another player that can play beside him and they could feed off of each other. Example, Griffin and jordan. Blake is no where near the defensive player jordan is, but he becomes better because he feed off of Jordan just like jordan is no where near Blake on the offensive, but he has gotten better because he is feeding off of Paul and blake.

      • comrade24

        That is true. Pau can block shots still and rebound. However, he let some pretty mediocre guys have career nights against him all year long. A lot of that is team defense, poor rotations etc.. but a lot of that has to fall on Pau too. He’s a step slower, and was never a banger down low. The main issue i see is FO plans going forward seems to be to get Kevin Love. Love is a great rebounder, average defender, not a rim protector. so if we have mediocre defenders at both post positions teams are going to punish us in the paint.

        • Computer Networking

          That’s not necessarily true. As long as the team members are disciplined at rebounding and creating tough shots for the opponents, the defense wouldn’t lack down low. The Lakers need to assemble a team down low that can control the boards. Over 80% of wins goes to the team that controls the boards.

          • comrade24

            i agree with that. What do you think about signing Luol Deng off season?

          • Computer Networking

            Well, the Lakers really only have two options at the small forward position. Deng or beasley. Deng is more defensive minded than beasley but he won’t come cheap. Beazley is more sound offensively and he would save the Lakers money to truly make a splash at the point, center, and power forward positions. I think that they should invest in both. Team beasley and young together coming off the bench, but they have to get deng because he is the best option that they have.

          • comrade24

            My thought with Deng is that he’s a good 2nd or 3rd option, and is a great defender, good rebounder for his size, and can defend multiple positions. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that he would be able to guard the best two players in the world right now in Lebron and Durant.

  • jlv24

    Get rid of pau and trade draft pick for kevin love

    • Marty Susman

      I disagree, Love will be here for free next year, he would not want to play in LA if we lose, & lose we will till 2015 free agency…. Now if we could sign n trade Gasol for ????? that would be a good thing, but not the first rounder for someone we will get fro free….YES if we can trade that pick to the Cav’s for Irving….

      • Josh

        Since when does $20 million = free? Sure, in free agency you don’t trade away players to acquire Love, but you do have to replace at least 2-3 quality role players with minimum contract guys to make room for his salary.

  • comrade24

    I see Pau ending up either in NY or Memphis. Would definitely prefer New York

  • Shannon

    This was the worst article I’ve ever read. Take out the rap references first off, it reeks of trying too hard and secondly have a convincing argument for why he should depart and who should replace him, or who is available that is better.

    • Frank

      I agree Shannon well said

    • Spitfire

      My question to you is, what is the Lakers main weakness last season?!
      DEFENSE! And Pau doesnt answer the Lakers weakness if you sign hom back. The Lakers can score but they cannot defend at all specially with Pau in the middle, as your rim protector.

      • Shannon

        Um…ok.

  • Jonathan

    Was extremely hard to follow.

    Plus it needs to be fact checked. Lakers lost in May 2011 to the Mavericks.

    • http://www.haveslot.com/ richard

      Lakers just won 2 championships in a row back then… you have got to keep that in mind…

    • Gabriel Lee

      Appreciate the spot, Jonathan. That has now been corrected.

  • Marty Susman

    Pau is yesterday & the Lakers are about tomorrow…If by chance Pau would sign n trade, that would be great since we could get something unlike what we got for the D12 mess….

    • Frank

      Did anyone read the post that said the Knicks and Phil Jackson will try to trade Carmello Anthony for Kobe whats up with that you think they have a chance I hope not.

      • Spitfire

        That’s BS article. Melo is a UFA next year and how can you trade a player if he is not signed to you?
        The Lakersare not enamored on Melo

      • Josh

        Kobe is not going anywhere. You think he sees a championship in his future with Amare and Bargnani?

        • Frank

          I didnt think so Kobe not going any where

  • SD

    I could see the Lakers doing a sign and trade for Pau for a pick or two and a couple of assets. I could also see the Lakers resigning him…even if it’s to a 1 year deal for say $12-15 million. I think we could see in Phil’s last year with the Lakers that Pau had grown a bit lethargic. When guys who are the #1 option go from #1 to #2 or #3, they lose some aggressiveness on both ends because less is required of them…see Chris Bosh as a prime example. I think a fresh situation and losing 10lbs would be great for Pau. He’s still way more athletic than Marc Gasol and always has been. He just doesn’t play with the same effort/intensity every play. He’s lost some strength and lift but those are things you can work on in the offseason.

    There’s no right way to play this in my view because there is no quick fix to a rebuild. Having Pau would make Kobe’s next season better, but a lot hinges on whether D’antoni is kept. Then, the draft pick.

  • Christopher Callaway

    Fuck u Pau Gasol gave Kobe his 4th and 5th rings. Without him we would never of gotten more. Kobe would still have 3

    • Josh

      Come on, you don’t think Kobe could get those rings with Kwame “Why are you passing me the ball” Brown?

  • Marty Susman

    Sorry ro say Pau is not worth more then $3,000,000 a year & I would really rather not even sign him. The Lakers are in NEED of a whole new starting 5 & anyone his age should not be part of it…(Yes Kobe but he will be gone as well soon. (That’s if he can even play) The Lakers NEED to go for a group of YOUNG guys who will grown up Lakers & win like Lakers of the past…Get a whole group of kids all under 25 years of age….

    • Josh

      Like the Thunder? Who still haven’t won a title and probably never will? It takes more than youth to win. We need smart players, and Pau is about as intelligent as they come.

  • Steven Garcia

    I hate people who say we need to separate ways with Pau. These same people talk like he’s a terrible player and that he should have been traded. F*** that noise. After all that he’s done for our franchise, you guys are so quick to let him go, and for what? If I were him and was playing in a losing season, I wouldn’t push myself too hard either. Why don’t we just trade Kobe as well, with that logic.

    If Pau has a couple more years in him to play in the NBA, I’d like it to be here with us in LA. I wish Fish could have retired here in LA as well, but it is what it is.

    I would love to keep Pau, and I think he deserves way more than what a lot of “Laker fans” give him.

    /rant

  • e3bonz

    I’m not sure Pau will get the kind of offers the media is hyping. I also don’t think a five year contract for him will happen with any team. The CBA rules (of which I barely understand) I think, have limited the big money teams have to spend, and going over the cap isn’t as simple as it once was. MItch said resigning Pau was a priority, and Pau said he would not rule out returning to LA.

  • ArtAgui of SFV

    Listen he isn’t going (KOBESidekick) anywhere , he will listen to some offers BUT at the END of the DAY…he will re-sign with the LA LAKERS because he is a LOYAL employee and will want to go one more time in LA…LOOK for him to sign for 7-8mil a season , 2yr contract.

  • KingEmperor

    gasol is an injury prone player we need young guys like greg monroe that can play at center position..

  • Matt Williams

    Not a good article. Not because I disagree, even though I do, but it isn’t well put together.

  • Rod Milton

    As a Laker fan I want him to stay. Always wanted him to stay and never once wanted to trade him (unlike many who said he was too soft). From a professional standpoint I don’t blame him if he does go to Memphis. The way the organization treated him I honestly don’t even know why he would come back.

  • Chrmngblly

    I think we should consider a sign and trade of Pau for Tyson Chandler. Mitch talks to Phil. If NY runs the triangle, and Phil says they are going to, Phil will need a couple guys that know the system. TC is 31 and a defensive center.

    Also, once we are doing business with Phil and those NY guys, it might be easier to figure a way to bring Melo here that works for all—if anybody wants Melo. I am not for that, necessarily.

    God, it is hard to let Pau go. I like Tyson Chandler though.

    • Josh

      I like Tyson, but do we really want a guy who has averaged 20 missed games per year for the last six years (16 games/yr for his career)?

      • Chrmngblly

        I agree. There are concerns for me too. But, if Phil goes after Pau, which he will, that might be a way to get a good center back, rather than nothing. Monroe and Davis are a waste of our time.

        What we must not do is get all bound up with a middle of the road scrub that can’t take us anywhere on a long term deal. It is just an idea. I don’t know what TC is making or how long his contract is for.

        Also, I think Tyson was out a whole year for some injury that it is probably not fair to just average in like that 16 games/year number has done.

        • Josh

          Not counting the season he missed 47 games, he has still averaged 13 games missed per season. He’s missed 43 games the past two years. If I understand the CBA–does anyone?–the Knicks cannot receive a player in a sign-and-trade. But even if they can, I would rather Pau walk than trade him for 31-year-old Tyson Chandler.

          Chandler has one year left for almost $16 million. If the trade were possible, and if he could stay healthy, it would keep the future open for the Lakers, but that would still be a lot of money in one question-mark, untradeable player.

          • Chrmngblly

            Chandler has 2 years left at 14M and 16M—which is about right to clear cap space when KD is a FA. That’s good. What is more, is that TC would give us quality rim protection. If I was NY, I would try to grab Pau. They will never get anyone as good as Pau to change their locker room and teach the triangle. Phil will be interested.

            Tyson Chandler is no more of a question mark than Kobe, Nash, Pau or Farmar. They say he’s healthy again.

          • Josh

            Everything I can find has him making $14.6 million next season, and then he’s an UFA. If he’s actually healthy, I’d be fine with bringing him in (if possible), but I’d hate taking a risk on him with all those other important players dealing with injuries.

          • Chrmngblly

            If so, that would be even better, wouldn’t it? I think there are 2 years left on Tyson Chandler’s contract, but either way we are clear, cap-wise, at the right time.

            I agree with you on your fear of injuries. I don’t know what to do about it, though, besides due diligence.

  • It’s already decided

    Why would Gasol prefer the same GM that keeps him on the trade list every six months (leaving in his hands the sing & trade option and end up in any team without playoff oportunities) better than choosing himself an A-list candidate that fits his skills best?

  • Mark Calland

    Pau is a power forward he’s been made to play out of position since he’s been with the lakers, I hope he stays and let the Lakers get a true CENTER to help him, get rid of fuckin Kupchak

    • Josh

      Pau is a center who has started at the PF spot for the Lakers because they also had Bynum/Howard. Even with Bynum, Pau played most of his minutes at the C every year before Mike Brown.

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