Pau Gasol has a decision to make this offseason – it’s one that many of the “above average” free agents have to make during this offseason period as well.
Take the money, perhaps one more “biggish” payday, or play for a contender. And while a handful of free agents will have the luxury of both, Gasol likely isn’t one of those players — at least not anymore.
The 34-year-old Gasol likely has only a handful of years left in the NBA, and at this point in most veteran’s careers is when players elect to take a little less than they could make on the open market in order to play for a contender. However, if said veteran is going to take less to play for a contender, he needs to be 100 percent sure that he is joining a contender.
That brings us to the Los Angeles Lakers, where ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne is reporting that Gasol would “consider” re-signing with the Lakers.
While free-agent forward Pau Gasol grew tired of the persistent trade rumors that followed him for the better part of the last three seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers, he would give strong consideration to re-signing with the team, according to sources with knowledge of the situation.
Gasol has strong ties to Lakers star Kobe Bryant, who has advocated for his return, and a deep affinity for Los Angeles and the franchise he won two NBA titles with. While the constant trade rumors stung, Gasol learned to live with them and has a level of expectation that a new coaching staff would prioritize him more than Mike D’Antoni did, sources said.
While loyalty is all fun and good, Gasol needs to realize that the Lakers are not a contender, and aren’t going to be one for a very long time. It’s hard leaving a team that has helped you reach the pinnacle of your profession, but Gasol also needs to do what’s best for Gasol.
And if that happens to be re-signing with the Lakers, that’s fine. However, based on what he’s said up to today about his impending free agency, I just don’t see the fit going forward.
The Lakers are trying to rebuild, or retool, and Gasol is in the business of finishing off his career strong, and possibly on top. It’s finally time for the Lakers and Pau Gasol to part ways.