The Lakers have a lot of decisions to make this off-season. The biggest will be deciding who the next coach will be, but the fate of Pau Gasol will also be extremely important.
Gasol enjoyed an excellent season, despite being hampered with nagging injuries and a dealing with a serious case of vertigo.
No one is sure whether Gasol will return or not, but if Kobe Bryant has his way, Gasol will be back in purple and gold next season as he told Marca.com:
I spoke with Kobe before the end of the season and he told me he wanted me to stay. We have a great mutual respect and a great friendship.
The friendship between Bryant and Gasol has been well noted and Gasol has said that he considers Bryant his brother. Despite the connection, there are still a number of factors that will decide whether Gasol returns.
The resignation of Mike D’Antoni obviously plays a factor as D’Antoni’s system was not conducive to Gasol’s skill set, but Gasol re-signing with the team could come at a price.
With the Lakers looking to preserve their cap space in order to make a run at the superstar players who become available over the next two years, the Lakers may not be willing to pay Gasol the amount he would like.
Gasol and Kobe have won two championships together and would love to win another, unfortunately for both of them, it will take more than Kobe’s word to ensure that Gasol will be back in Los Angeles.
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