The 2014-15 season in many ways has been a chance for Pau Gasol to revitalize his career with the Chicago Bulls, which he is averaging a robust 18.6 points, 10.6 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in his 14th year in the league.
Before joining the Bulls this past offseason, Gasol had the choice to return back to the Los Angeles Lakers, which was the team he had spent the last 6 1/2 seasons playing alongside Kobe Bryant winning his only two NBA titles. He had been offered two separate contracts of two-years, $22 million and three-years, $29 million. The 34-year-old on Monday prior to the Bulls game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center revealed that the Lakers may have offered another incentive if he re-signed, according to ESPN LA’ Beto Duran.
Pau said Lakers offered him a no trade clause during negotiations.
— Beto Duran (@DuranSports) November 17, 2014
The fact that Los Angeles even considered offering Gasol a no-trade clause is a big step up in negotiations given that it all but assured the four-time All-Star would control his fate with team. It is a short list of six players who currently possess the clause that includes Bryant, Tim Duncan, Kevin Garnett, Dirk Nowitzki, Dwyane Wade, and Carmelo Anthony.
Gasol had spent the last three seasons with the Lakers dealing with constant trade rumors, and was even dealt to Houston Rockets as part of a three-team trade that would have landed Los Angeles Chris Paul if then-commissioner David Stern had not vetoed the deal.
That said, the addition of a no-trade clause proved not to be enough due to Gasol’s overwhelming desire to win a championship coupled with the fact that he viewed the Laker as a rebuilding team. What it all came down to is that the Spaniard was not encouraged by the outlook of the franchise heading into the next few seasons, and also could not turn down the opportunity to play for a championship contender in the Bulls even if it meant taking less money.
Photo Credit: David Banks – USA TODAY Sports