Los Angeles, CA - According to Dave McMenamin on ESPN, the Los Angeles Lakers and big man Pau Gasol have not begun contract discussions on an extension. Kobe Bryant just received a large extension on his contract which could be something that holds up Gasol’s new deal, but the two sides are said to have interest in working something out. Gasol is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent following this season.
“We have not had any discussions with Pau. I’m sure I will and where that leads I’m not sure right now. A lot has to do with different variables. I’m not saying that something won’t be considered and I’m not saying that something will be. I’m just saying that it’s not something that came up and it wouldn’t have come up before (Monday) anyway. There was no reason for anything to take place until we signed Kobe. So, we’ll kind of roll with that and see where it leads.” - Mitch Kupchak
Pau Gasol is having a solid season this year, leading the Lakers to some wins despite the Lakers having to play without their superstar Kobe Bryant. He is averaging 14.5 points, 10.3 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks per game this season. Those numbers are obviously very impressive and he’s been a great leader on the court for the young Lakers to help them remain competitive despite all the issues.
The Lakers seem to be content to just wait and see how things go now that they have Bryant under contract for another two seasons. Gasol has a very large deal coming off the books and they certainly are not opposed to allowing him to walk and using that money on another piece or two. That being said, Gasol and Bryant have become very close friends throughout their career together and that might work very much in Gasol’s favor.
It’s hard to make a prediction on whether or not Gasol will receive a new deal, but the two sides don’t appear to be hurrying to get something done. Kupchak certainly didn’t sound like they were making a new deal for Gasol a priority, but that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. This will be a very interesting situation to keep an eye on, especially once the offseason gets here.
Evan Massey is the Lead Editor for Hoops-Nation. Follow Evan on Twitter at @Massey_Evan.