Two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol finished the 2013-14 NBA season stuck on the bench battling vertigo symptoms while contemplating his immediate future. Gasol will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career and could be headed elsewhere this summer.
Although Gasol hasn’t ruled out returning to Los Angeles, the writing seems to be on the wall in terms of the Spaniard wanting to play for a contender. The Lakers also haven’t ruled out Gasol returning to the team next season according to our own Serena Winters:
Mitch Kupchak on Pau Gasol being a priority (vs. other free agents): “It’s going to depend.”
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) June 27, 2014
Though Gasol dealt with some setback, he still enjoyed a bounce-back season last year and showed he still has something left in the tank.
The Lakers probably would like to bring Gasol back, but the team clearly has its sights set on some bigger names right now. Gasol will have to take a back seat as long as Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James are a possibility according to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne:
Lakers have a strong interest in resigning @paugasol .. but obviously have sights on LBJ/Melo right now
— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) June 27, 2014
The Lakers will not sacrifice an opportunity at one of those players in order to sign Gasol to a new contract. It may sound cruel, but it is the business of basketball.
Gasol could make an interesting pairing with new draft pick Julius Randle, providing a finesse game to Randle’s brute strength. Whether the Lakers will bring the two players together remains to be seen.
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