The four-time all-star is a free agent at the end of a season and could be on his way out of Los Angeles.
After the worst season in franchise history, the Los Angeles Lakers are set to make major changes going forward. Coach Mike D’Antoni has already been fired, and only Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant are under contract for next year.
Pau Gasol suffered the worst two seasons of his career under D’Antoni, and as he hits the open market this year it may be time for the Spaniard to leave Lakerland for good. Here are his potential landing spots.
The Rockets are in dire need of a skilled big man to partner Dwight Howard, and Gasol would fit the bill. The combination never worked in Los Angeles, with D’Antoni’s offense tooled around one big and four shooters, but the pair could thrive under Kevin McHale. Houston GM Daryl Morey covets Gasol, and almost traded for the Spaniard in the Chris Paul trade. Houston lack cap space, but a sign-and-trade with the Lakers for defensive center Omer Asik could suit both sides.
A reunion of the Gasol brothers would make Memphis one of the most fun teams to watch in the NBA. Fan favourite Zach Randolph is a free agent this year, and if he leaves there is a good chance that the Grizzlies will be in the market for a big man to pair with the former Defensive Player of the Year, Marc Gasol. Adding his brother would certainly keep Memphis among the chasing pack in the Western Conference, and Pau has previously spoken of his desire to reunite with Marc.
The Bulls will be linked to every high-priced free agent this summer as they are potentially one move away from becoming legitimate title contenders. Any move they could make would be predicated on them amnestying Carlos Boozer, whose hefty contract ties up their cap space. Gasol would be an interesting piece in Chicago – he would be the perfect complement to Joakim Noah in the frontcourt and would offer valuable offense to a roster that struggles to score regularly.
Los Angeles Lakers
There is still a good chance that Gasol re-signs for the Lakers and sees out his contract in L.A. The Spaniard remains one of Kobe Bryant’s biggest allies in the league – a teammate the 16-time all-star respects on the same level as Derek Fisher. Gasol has always thrived in the post, and was never really put in a position to succeed under D’Antoni. Whether he has a place on the roster next year will likely depend on who is hired to be the next Lakers coach, and the role he envisions for Gasol.