Lakers Rumors: Pau Gasol Leaving Would Be Best Move for LA’s Future

For a franchise that has been able to sell itself with ease for decades, the Los Angeles Lakers are finding life in the modern world difficult to navigate. They have taken meetings with top free agents and made their best sales pitches, but so far no one has taken the bait. 

On top of that, the Lakers are struggling to keep their own players. Pau Gasol, who was a staple of Los Angeles trade rumors for two years, doesn't know what he's going to do but has kept every option open. 

The latest developments for Gasol, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, have him entertaining the Oklahoma City Thunder:

While the idea of a front-runner in free agency is laughable—nothing is certain until an agreement has been reached and/or a contract gets signed—Gasol's motives show that the Lakers aren't putting their best foot forward. 

The irony of the situation is Gasol expressed an interest in returning to the Lakers in December, telling Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News that finishing his career with the team was appealing under the right circumstances:

We’ll see if there’s interest or not. Then we’ll go from there. ...

You have to explore your options, but I would like to continue to play for the Lakers and maybe finish my career here. But you have to see the cards on the table.

No one will deny that Gasol is still a very good player. He averaged 17.4 points and 9.7 rebounds per game last year, but age and health are working against him. The two-time NBA champion turned 34 today and has missed 55 games over the last two years. 

Unless Gasol decides to take a huge pay cut, which he told Medina wasn't really something on his mind, the Lakers would be wise to look at other avenues for help at the center/power forward positions. 

The Lakers are stuck in limbo right ...

About the Author