Lakers to Feature Pau Gasol at Center Without Dwight Howard

It's your turn, Pau.

With Dwight Howard gone, the Los Angeles Lakers will turn to Pau Gasol to lead them at center heading into next season.

According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN Los Angeles, the Lakers have no plans to amnesty the four-time All-Star, and instead plan to use him extensively at center:

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 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.

For some, using Gasol at center won't be looked at as a "silver lining."

Howard is 27 and widely considered the best center in the NBA, while Gasol is 33 and coming off the worst season of his career. It doesn't seem like a fair switch, and it isn't.

The Lakers got burned in their pursuit of a superstar and looking on the bright side isn't something jilted Laker loyalists are prepared to do when this foreign sense of failure is still so raw.

In due time, however, those in Tinseltown who remain unconvinced will see the break in the clouds. Howard no longer calls Los Angeles home, and that's not the end of the world.

Immediately people will point towards next summer and the free-agency frenzy of 2014, when the Lakers will chase LeBron James and likely any other superstar with a pulse—as pointed out by Alex Kennedy of Hoops World.

But the Lakers aren't a team that looks at one future summer as a franc...

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