The Lakers made headlines when they agreed to a contract extension with Kobe Bryant. Though they have caught flak for the deal, the Lakers and Kobe insist that there is a plan going forward. Will that plan involve Pau Gasol?
According to Mike Bresnahan of the LA Times, General Manager Mitch Kupchak has yet to discuss a contract extension with Gasol, but does plan on talking at some point:
We have not had any discussions with Pau. I’m sure I will. And where that leads, I’m not sure right now. A lot has to do with different variables.
With Kobe now taking up $24 million for the next two years, the prospect of keeping Gasol seems bleak. Kobe tweeted last night about the Lakers having max cap space and then some. If Gasol is extended that cap space will be severely cut into, making it impossible for the Lakers to add any significant free agent.
The Lakers are already walking a thin line with their salary cap situation. They will have to carefully choose who they retain from their massive list of free agents because every player they keep makes it harder to bring in somebody new. Gasol is willing to take a pay cut, but if it isn’t a massive pay cut, his new contract would almost definitely prevent the Lakers from bringing in a max player.
Gasol has been an excellent player for the Lakers and has brought the team two championships. But if the Lakers plan to start building for the future this offseason, Gasol may have to be sacrificed.
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