While all the talk is about the Los Angeles Lakers pursuing LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony this summer, Pau Gasol becomes an unrestricted free agent and is one of the best big men available in this year’s market.
According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, Pau Gasol will strongly consider returning to the Lakers:
“While free-agent forward Pau Gasol grew tired of the persistent trade rumors that followed him for the better part of the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, he would give strong consideration to re-signing with the team, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.”
Despite all the trade rumors, Gasol has a strong relationship with Kobe Bryant and believes the new coaching staff would prioritize him more:
“Gasol has strong ties to Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who has advocated for his return, and a deep affinity for Los Angeles and the franchise he won two NBA titles with. While the constant trade rumors stung, Gasol learned to live with them and has a level of expectation that a new coaching staff would prioritize him more than Mike D’Antoni did, sources said.”
After bringing two championships in three straight NBA Finals appearances to Los Angeles, Gasol found himself in a difficult position with constant role changes and trade rumors. However, Gasol was the ultimate professional and now has the opportunity to sign elsewhere.
For Gasol, he has stated numerous times that winning more championships is the biggest priority in the final stages of his career. With numerous teams expected to pursue the talented post player including the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks, the Lakers will have to rebuild themselves into championship contenders for Gasol to consider them.
Despite everything that has gone on these past couple of seasons, it seems like both sides are interested in Gasol returning. There is even belief within the organization that re-signing Gasol could lure Carmelo Anthony to Los Angeles to form a Big Three of their own.
Lakers Kobe Bryant Plans To Recruit Carmelo Anthony