In a couple of days Pau Gasol will officially become a free agent in his career with many options expected to be at his disposal, but a return back to the Los Angeles Lakers could be a realistic possibility, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com.
This is just one of many scenarios for the Lakers if their pursuit LeBron James does not gain steam, as the team believes that Gasol could help them persuade Carmelo Anthony to come to Los Angeles. They are not the only the one with this thought process as multiple reports have stated the New York Knicks led team president Phil Jackson and new head coach Derek Fisher, who both have ties to the Lakers, are hoping the 33-year-old’s addition could keep Anthony in New York.
Gasol has a strong relationship with Kobe Bryant, who has stated that he would like the four-time All-Star to return to the team. He experienced much success with the Lakers that featured three straight Finals appearances where they won two of them. This along with Mike D’Antoni no longer being the head coach of the team, as the two had their fair share of disagreements over how the offense was ran. Los Angeles is expected to hire a head coach that emphasis the use of a post-up oriented offense .
Although Gasol may have interest in returning to Los Angeles, there will be plenty of teams pursuing his services such as the Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Chicago Bulls, and Golden State Warriors. He may have to wait to sign with a team as each of those organization is said to have interest in signing James or Anthony.
This in turn could result in Gasol re-signing with the Lakers if they are unable to land either James or Anthony. Another factor that may come in play is whether he would be willing to take a significant pay cut from his $19.3 million that he made this past season. If available, Los Angeles would likely offer Gasol a short-term deal with an annual salary figure more towards half of his previous deal with the team.
Photo Credit: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Bob Garcia IV
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