Lakers Rumors: Pau Gasol’s Quotes Foreshadow an Offseason Departure

It seems after five full seasons of playing with Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba's influence is starting to show on Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol.

Sitting down with the Los Angeles Times' T.J. Simers on Monday morning, the 32-year-old forward spoke at length about his current situation with the Lakers. The topics broached his relationship with head coach Mike D'Antoni ("anchored in disagreement," per Simers), his loyalty to the organization and his thoughts on Kobe Bryant playing more of a facilitator role in the offense. 

All of those are innocent enough facts we already knew and could gotten after a game against Milwaukee on a random Wednesday night. Where the interview got more interesting is when the reserved and always friendly Gasol opened up about his course of action if his role doesn't change this offseason.

Here is a transcript of the exchange between Simers and Gasol, per the Los Angeles Times: 

"If this coach stays and Dwight Howard remains with the Lakers," I asked, "what about you?"

"It would be hard for me to deal with another season knowing the facts you just mentioned," said Gasol, 32 and with one year remaining on his contract.

"So do you ask for a fresh start elsewhere?"

"It's a possibility," he said, "yes."

You don't need a doctorate in interpretive thinking to read between the lines. If D'Antoni and Howard return in 2013-14, Gasol will ask for a trade. He's 32 years old, on the tail end of his prime and will be on an expiring contract. He doesn't have the time to dilly-dally with the whims of D'Antoni's nonsensical decision to bench him or to be the offensive fourth wheel.

Though phrased in a very Gasolian fashion, it was a refreshing moment of candor from the former All-Star. It speaks to his relationship with Bryant, who has become increasingly outspoken as he's aged.

Had Mamba been in t...

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