If there’s been one person in the entire Los Angeles Lakers organization that has had Pau Gasol’s back throughout his entire tenure in LA, it’s been Kobe Bryant.
At least, for the most part.
And still, Gasol is probably counting his days until he finally becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
But while Gasol eyes this summer as his opportunity to finally run away from the “will they/won’t they” trade discussions that he’s been rumored in year-in and year-out in Los Angeles, there’s at least one person who wants to see Gasol put aside those differences and re-sign with the Lakers.
During Thursday night’s game against the Los Angeles Clippers, Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher stated on the TNT broadcast that he spoke with Kobe Bryant prior to the game and asked him who he could “envision” on next year’s team.
Bucher reported that Bryant included Pau Gasol’s name, which the reporter said “surprised” him. Bucher further pressed Bryant, asking how confident the five-time champion is on a scale of one to 10, that Gasol will be with the Los Angeles Lakers next season, to which Bryant responded “eight.”
Obviously, Bryant views Gasol as a big part of the “revenge” tour that he is expected to begin starting next season — assuming that he’s finally healthy.
I wonder if Gasol knows that Kobe knows that Gasol is returning to the Lakers next season. Granted, plenty of the beef that Gasol has had this season has been surrounded around Lakers head coach Mike D’Antoni. Assuming he’s gone, I guess there’d be a much better shot at Gasol returning.
Still, it would be highly amusing to see Gasol say no to Kobe, much like Dwight Howard did to him this past summer. Perhaps re-signing Gasol would be a good move for the Lakers. With Kobe and Gasol, plus a high draft pick, on board, it’ll be that much easier to climb back up to the top.