Over the past six years, Pau Gasol has been one of the most consistent players on the Los Angeles Lakers. A constant 18 point and 10 rebound player, Gasol helped the Lakers to three straight Finals appearances and two NBA Championships. After a down year playing alongside Dwight Howard, Gasol’s numbers have risen back to his career averages this season.
However, with the Spaniard set to turn 34 this coming July, there is rampant speculation as to whether he will play for the purple and gold next season. According to Los Angeles Times’ Mike Bresnahan, Gasol believes there is a chance he could return to the Lakers, but says he must put his pro-Lakers feelings aside when making a decision:
Gasol says there’s a chance he’ll return to L.A. next season. But…”I have to be picky, put my personal [pro-Laker] feelings aside.”
— Mike Bresnahan (@Mike_Bresnahan) April 13, 2014
Gasol has been extremely vocal this season and his top priority is winning a championship. The Lakers’ upcoming draft pick and ample cap space will also play into the decision of whether the team should re-sign Gasol.
If the Lakers are able to either draft or bring a young center in via free agency, it would be hard to justify bringing Gasol back. However, if Gasol were willing to come back at a reasonable price, the Lakers would surely reach out to the two-time champion.
Gasol is a proven winner and could be a key piece for a contending team. There have been rumors that teams will line up for the Spaniard’s services this off-season and despite his affection for Los Angeles, expect Gasol to listen. With the Lakers currently in rebuild mode and Gasol stating that he wants championships over money, it will be interesting to see how this all plays out come July.
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