Pau Gasol has had a rocky tenure with the Los Angeles Lakers, having constantly been on the trading block for the last few seasons. Unlike Lamar Odom, Pau Gasol understood that it’s just the business of basketball, but that’s still likely affecting how his future looks.
The Spaniard was asked about negotiations with the Lakers next season since his contract is up after this year, during which he’ll earn $19.3 million. He said:
“If I perform well, am reliable and put up a great season, then I’m sure the Lakers will have interest in extending me maybe before the season is over. We’ll see if there’s interest or not. Then we’ll go from there.”
Then he was asked if he’d be willing to take a paycut:
“Probably no. 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.”
Gasol is playing a more featured position for the Lakers this year than he has in past years, however, Coach Mike D’Antoni still plans to use the 7-footer similarly to before, and not as a pure center. Gasol spent a good portion of the summer working on his 3-pt shot in anticipation of being played this way.
The Lakers are currently strapped for cash this season, but not the following for the anticipated 2014 Free Agent class. Since they need to get younger, and Kobe Bryant has expressed a desire to return for the Lakers, Gasol probably is less likely to get a large contract from them than he is to be offered one.