The Los Angeles Lakers have had a very trying season this year riddled with injuries and disappointments. Their very dismal season has the Laker organization considering what changes need to be carried out. All in all there will be trades, free agents, and coaching adjustments. Amidst all the changes of the organization they must not lose sight of the value they still have. This organization is home to 5-time champion Kobe Bryant, and a host of other champion caliber players. One of the most valuable assets to this team is the talented 7-foot Spaniard Pau Gasol. Gasol has contributed that much-needed presence in the paint for LA. The versatility that he has gives him the ability to spread the floor. The dynamic of having a multitalented big man makes the organization fear losing him. At the end of this hard-fought season there is a chance Gasol may be leaving the Lakers.
Gasol did an interview with the Los Angeles Times and expressed his feeling on leaving or staying with the Lakers. His exact words were. “A lot of factors will influence me going one place or staying here, we’ll take everything into account.” As of now there is not any clear decision on which direction Gasol is leaning in. He will more than likely wait to see how things pan out with their current coach and interchangeable roster. Outside of those variables, he is also concerned with Bryant’s future with the organization.
What can Pau Gasol gain or lose from leaving the Lakers when he officially becomes a free agent July 1, 2014? There are many different things to be taken into consideration.
Here are the top three things to gain from leaving:
1. Gain more money he is already taking a pay cut
2. There is a higher probability of obtaining another ring
3. Placement on a favorable team
Here are the top three things to lose from leaving:
1. Risk losing money and taking an even bigger pay cut
2. Become a second option off the bench with reduced minutes
3. Placement on a team with a worse record than his current team
With all things considered Gasol has proclaimed that he wants the best for the franchise no matter what. That means if he decides to depart there will be no ill will between the Lakers and Gasol. He just wants to be on a team that is going to be built to win a championship. In his past years with the Lakers, he won two championships back-to-back, and lost back to back. Overall, Gasol just would like some consistency from the organization he is with. The Lakers have not been as consistent as they were in 2009 and 2010. However, there is equal blame to be given throughout the ranks. A lot of the blame is put on the coaching staff and the management. Some questions are surrounding the possible departure of Mike D’Antoni, and how that may affect the whole organization. It is common knowledge that Gasol is not a fan of D’Antoni’s offensive system. Will his possible departure sway the Spaniards decision? At this time, it is not clear.
It seems to be just as many reasons for Pau Gasol to leave as there are for him to stay. As the deadline inches closer the Laker organization, and Laker Nation shall soon figure out if Pau Gasol is indeed leaving the team.
Commentary by Schelett Rickenbacker