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Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013 at 11:55 am  |  31 responses

Pau Gasol Hopes to Stay With the Lakers


by Marcel Mutoni @ marcel_mutoni

Entering the final year of his deal, Pau Gasol doesn’t want to go anywhere else. Whether the Los Angeles Lakers’ braintrust agrees with him, is another matter altogether.

The 33-year old center is looking to bounce back following a tough season — Gasol posted career lows in points (13.7), field-goal percentage (46.6%) and games played (49) — and desperately hopes he can stay in Purple and Gold once his contract runs out next summer.

Per the LA Times:

Gasol is finally in the last year of his contract, coming off a bunch of career lows last season and a knee procedure that sidelined him the entire summer. But he’s still here in Los Angeles, somewhat miraculously in NBA circles, more than 5½ years after a multiplayer deal, including Kwame Brown, helped turn him into a Laker. “I’m a survivor,” Gasol says self-deprecatingly. He’ll be a free agent next July after earning $19.3 million this season, but people only talk about the Lakers trying to sign LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony next summer, never about re-signing Gasol.

Can a four-time All-Star be underappreciated? Certainly. Is it possible to forget about a guy who had 19 points and 18 rebounds in a Game 7 victory in the NBA Finals? Entirely. But remember, Gasol was still on the court when the Lakers were destroyed by San Antonio in last season’s playoff sweep. “Last guy standing,” Gasol said ruefully, reflecting on Kobe Bryant’s season-ending injury and Dwight Howard’s Game 4 ejection as part of the failed championship expectations that accompanied a $100-million payroll. [...] “It’s nice to be here in the last year of my contract,” Gasol said. “I’d love to continue to play with the Lakers [next year]. We’ve been through so much together. Mostly amazing moments and some hard moments too. It’s like a relationship. If you’re still together, it shows improved strength and consistency and how solid the relationship is. Hopefully we’ll see if we can extend it.”

With Dwight Howard in Houston now, Gasol will be the Lakers’ go-to-guy in the post. GM Mitch Kupchak says that, health permitting, the Spaniard will become an NBA All-Star once again this season.

Pau Gasol has survived plenty of turmoil during his time in Hollywood, and can’t imagine himself playing in any other city. It’s hard to picture him elsewhere, but not impossible.

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  • Rockwell

    Seems like Pau is the battered wife in this “relationship” who just doesn’t want or know how to enter a new relationship. Pau has taken some serious abuse from the media, fans and even his own team even after all his contributions to those championships. Call him sensitive or soft if you want, but most players would have demanded a trade by now.

  • Saleem Rainman

    He pulled out the relationship line though? Furreal?

  • LLC#12

    I’d quite like to see him and Marc on the same team

  • LakeShow

    Sign this guy.
    F*ck LeBron.
    F*ck Carmelo.
    Sign this guy.
    He’s proven himself time and again of being worthy of being the Lakers franchise center. Give it to him.
    (Hopefully for around 8-10 m. a year)

  • Anthony

    As many times as The Lakers have made Pau trade bait, it would serve them right if he said, “Bese mi culo!”…..his from Spain

  • shockexchange

    It’s hard out here for a gimp http://clicky.me/7NVc

  • robb

    Pau has been a true professional and a fundamental player for the franchise, he definitely deserves it. He’s the best PF in Lakers history. It’s time to give the guy some recognition.

  • LakeShow

    Indeed.
    I’d love to lock him up for the rest of his career(5 years) and at a bargain basement price, but he deserves more money. So maybe just a 3 year deal or something.

  • LobCity

    Agree 100%… I think Pau takes all that into account this summer. I think he asks for over 10 mil per yr for 2-3 yrs. A potentially weak free agent class will give him all the leverage he needs

  • Busta213

    Who wouldnt sign him at that price ($8-10m)? Thats about half of what hes currently getting paid right now. Question is, would he still be worth keeping without the discount?

  • spit hot fiyah

    watch spain play, it’s awesome! it would be insane in the nba though, they complement each other so well

  • hashzz

    As a lakers die hard fan…I love pau and appreciate him helping us win 2 more titles. But this notion that the lakers did him wrong is debatable. In 2011, we *tried to trade him and lamar for cp3… no one looks at the fact that it was the LAKERS who took back a pissed off pau, and lamar who felt backstabbed. But I don’t think its because pau was underappreciated, its simply the lakers thinking ahead. That deal was a good deal, juet bad timing.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    You and I both know being two of the biggest Laker fans (stans at times lol) that Pau is more valuable than most people give him credit for. Dude has been trade bait time and time again and it’s puzzling. He’s one of if not the most skilled big in the league and is still relatively young. Unfortunately, I just don’t think he’s ever going to get the propers that he deserves.

  • http://soundcloud.com/tray-8 T-Ray

    You and I both know being two of the biggest Laker fans (stans at times lol) that Pau is more valuable than most people give him credit for. Dude has been trade bait time and time again and it’s puzzling. He’s one of if not the most skilled big in the league and is still relatively young. Unfortunately, I just don’t think he’s ever going to get the propers that he deserves.

  • LakeShow

    It’s not a matter of who wouldn’t sign him, it’s a matter of who he wants to sign with.

    It’s half of what he makes in his bloated final year of a near max contract.

    Just like half of what Kobe makes this year is $15m a year. They are both worth about half of their final years contract salary.

  • LakeShow

    It’s not a matter of who wouldn’t sign him, it’s a matter of who he wants to sign with.

    It’s half of what he makes in his bloated final year of a near max contract.

    Just like half of what Kobe makes this year is $15m a year. They are both worth about half of their final years contract salary.

  • LakeShow

    Good point.

  • LakeShow

    Good point.

  • LLC#12

    Yeah man that’s what I mean, I love watching Spain play, so I’d love to see the Marc/Pau combo in the NBA for a while before Pau retires.

  • LLC#12

    Yeah man that’s what I mean, I love watching Spain play, so I’d love to see the Marc/Pau combo in the NBA for a while before Pau retires.

  • Busta213

    I guess I just dont see any reason for him to take less than 10m if he has a decent season. Its not like LA has been loyal to him…. Kobe has no choice but to take a serious discount.

  • LakeShow

    You’ve got a point, but I don’t really think he is worth a $50m contract at age 33 to most teams. Someone might, but does he want to go to the Bobcat’s or back to Memphis… Probably not.

    We’ll have to wait and see how this one transpires.

  • danpowers

    they got pau in a deal without really giving up anything. uhm, pau and lamar got pissed off and backstabbed by the lakers. thats not how you treat your key guys who made you win 2!! championships. the lakers generously took them back? oh how greatful must they have been. where would the lakers have been in the meantime without gasol? where they will be this season – out of relevancy.

    i just see it as karma that things went downhill for the lakers from then on

    (with that i exclude the departed jerry buss is , i wont drop any negative or gleeful comment about that great owner)

  • BugEyes

    I think pau.gasol related news is the most commented on slam

  • BugEyes

    Dude they gave up marc gasol

  • danpowers

    who by that time was a ? and not a difference maker. he needed 2 years to develop into a difference maker. couldve turned out to be a darko milicic, too. the lakers didnt really know back then. pau on the other hand was an elite big man already.

  • BugEyes

    They(Grizzlies) wouldn’t of traded pau gasol if they knew they weren’t getting something in return. they (league scouts)knew he was a stud b.c marc gasol played against team USA for team spain and surprised a lot of people.

  • danpowers

    he wouldnt have been the first one to disappoint after strong international play. it was obvious that he would become a solid nba player but it was not sure that he would become that good. still, gasol was a bigger caliber and imo he still is today. the gap between the two just used to be much bigger back then as it is today.

  • Conor

    He has earned every right to stay. Two championships in five years? *Mark Jackson voice* Are you kidding me?

  • grgeblck

    if there werent so much drama in LA land, i think Kobe and Pau could’ve won more than 2.

  • Mike From Spain

    If by some chance Zach Randolph is sent out of Memphis by Hollinger, because of Zbo’s bad advanced statistics, Pau could be going to Memphis… who knows.

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