Pau Gasol has a contract that’s up at the end of next season, and the 7-footer from Spain hopes that the Lakers’ courtship of perennial superstar center, Dwight Howard, is a sign of the future when it comes to what measures the Lakers will take next season to keep him in place in Los Angeles.
Pau Gasol must have taken the blue pill, because he’s clearly still trapped in the Matrix, believing the Lakers will pull out all the stops to keep him hanging around past this upcoming season. Not to say the Lakers won’t strive to keep Pau in town, but to believe they will put on the display they have for Dwight Howard seems naive.
The chance that Pau exits LA before his contract expires seem exceptionally high, if recent history counts at all. Gasol has been involved in trade rumors for roughly two seasons now, and I wouldn’t expect that to stop if Howard does indeed re-up in Los Angeles for the long haul. There has also been chatter of Pau being amnestied.
Gasol discussed the possibilities on Catalunya Radio.
“I don’t think that Howard re-signing with the Lakers puts me out of the team for sure, but I guess the chances would grow. Gasol said. I know the Lakers are pushing hard trying to keep Howard with a spectacular campaign in Los Angeles, putting banners in key spots.”
Pau also cracked what I assume is a joke when asked about his approaching free agency.
“I hope they (The Lakers) do the same for me next season when I become a free agent…I doubt it.”
The fact remains that Pau is still a pretty great NBA talent, and has plenty of time left to showcase his skill and help a contender win it all. The reality that the Lakers don’t make a move if Howard does commit long term seems low. The Lakers have put themselves in a situation, financially, where they can not afford to bring in much help to put around their core guys. Steve Nash, Kobe Bryant, Metta World Peace, Pau Gasol, and Dwight Howard couldn’t get the job done last season, and I doubt the Lakers’ brass has the confidence that they can in 2013-14 without a bit of a shake-up. Pau’s head could be on the chopping block if Howard re-signs.