Perhaps no player in recent Lakers history has been through tougher times than Pau Gasol. Despite being a centerpiece in the Lakers title teams in 2009 and 2010, the big man is constantly in the middle of trade discussions. We all remember the failed trade for Chris Paul that sent the big man to Houston for a brief time before the trade being vetoed. He’s been linked with anyone from Jose Calderon to Andrea Bargnani and even Amare Stoudemire. But through it all, the big man has produced and remained a true professional.
Now, it seems that the big man will finally get a rest from the rumor mill. According to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN.com, the Lakers plan without Howard is to keep the Spanish big man and allow him to play out the final year of his contract with the Lakers.
Now that Howard is gone, there will be no talk or discussion about using the amnesty provision on forward Pau Gasol anymore, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told ESPNLosAngeles.com Friday night.
It’s a bit of birthday present for the Spaniard, who celebrates his 33rd birthday on Saturday. Gasol and Kobe Bryant have developed a bond in their time together, leading to Bryant publicly defending him on numerous occasions.
The Lakers can only use their amnesty provision on a player that was on the team when the lockout ended. With the constant turnover of the roster, that leaves only Bryant, Gasol, Metta World Peace, and Steve Blake as players that can be amnestied. Bryant is an obvious no, but the latter two could be targets, specifically MWP and his $7.7 million contract.
The wacky off-season is only going to get wackier. Stay tuned on Lake Show Life as we’ll keep you updated.