Lakers News: Pau Gasol’s Commitment to LA Bodes Well for Future of Franchise

Pau Gasol’s commitment to the Los Angeles Lakers is great news. He will ultimately help the franchise rebuild a NBA title-contending team in the coming seasons.

Speaking of Gasol's future, he recently expressed his desire to stay with the Lakers organization after the final year of his $19.3 million contract expires next summer, according to Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times:

I would love to play for the franchise that I love playing for, that I’m proud to be a part of. It would be great to continue to play for the Lakers.

Gasol’s willingness to remain with the franchise even after being benched last season proves he is a consummate professional. He told Pincus that he holds no hard feelings after being benched by coach Mike D’Antoni in an effort to bring Dwight Howard’s offensive game to life:

I understood and understand it was a difficult situation for a lot of people, to make things work. As difficult as it was at times, now it's behind us and all we can do is focus on the present and what's coming. I don't hold grudges. I really don't get stuck in the past.

With the Howard saga in their rear view mirror, the Lakers are now focused on returning to the NBA Finals with the players that have stayed.

But team management is not being narrow-sighted in its efforts. In fact, it is shooting for the stars.

According to ESPN, the Lakers are planning to pursue elite free agents like LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony next summer. James is reportedly expected to “use the same guiding principles that he had back in 2010: the talent on the prospective rosters and the chance they can lead to multiple chances at championships.”

As it stands right now, though, the Lakers' roster may not be appealing to LeBron or any of the other top-tier free agents. However, the willingness of Kobe Bryant and Gasol&md...

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