Lakers Reportedly Will Not Trade Or Amnesty Pau Gasol

by July 06, 2013
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With Dwight Howard gone, the Lakers plan on keeping Pau Gasol for the remaining year on his contract. The Lakers were reportedly willing to amnesty Gasol if Howard re-signed in L.A. But now, if all goes well with his knee rehab, Gasol should be starting at center for the Lakers next season, according to ESPN.com: “While the Los Angeles Lakers were understandably disappointed when Dwight Howard called to tell them he was leaving to sign with the Houston Rockets late Friday afternoon, there was a silver lining. Now that Howard is gone, there will be no talk or discussion about using the amnesty provision on forward Pau Gasol anymore, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com Friday night. Gasol will likely slide over from power forward to center and be featured in that role, as he was on the 2009 Lakers team that defeated Howard and the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals. It remains to be see who will fill the power forward role — Metta World Peace, Jordan Hill or rookie Ryan Kelly — but the Lakers feel Gasol is a much more natural fit as a center in coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense than he was as a power forward. Had Howard re-signed with the Lakers, Gasol — who will make $19.3 million in the final year of his contract — was a candidate to be let go via the amnesty provision as the Lakers look to deal with their luxury tax issues. No firm decision had been made, the source insisted, as the team’s preference was to look for ways to keep Gasol. But now that decision has been taken care of with Howard leaving.”