The big story throughout this summer, the upcoming season, and into next summer will be the free agent frenzy of 2014. We’ve heard all about who the Lakers might try to lure to LA, namely LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. However, they mustn’t forget about their superstars they have on the roster who have interest in returning. We obviously know the Black Mamba’s contract situation, but he isn’t the lone man seeking a return to the purple and gold.
Pau Gasol hasn’t been a Laker for long – this year will be his 6th year in Los Angeles compared to 7 in Memphis – but he’s made his mark in Lakers history. With his contract set to expire this summer, many wonder if the Spaniard will come back to Los Angeles. In an interview with Mark Medina of the Daily News, Gasol expressed his desire to return to the Lakers, but only at the right price, and not a discounted one.
“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.”
– Pau Gasol
When asked specifically if he’d take a significant pay cut, Gasol responded bluntly with “probably not.” He went on to further explain his situation…
“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.”
– Pau Gasol
In reality, this should surprise no one. Gasol is still a business man who needs to maintain a solid negotiating status. If Gasol admits he’d take a pay cut, he’s cutting his legs out from under him and loses all leverage. I fully expect Gasol to take a pay cut next season and I’m sure he’ll take one to, but don’t expect anyone to public announce it.