May 27, 2013, 5:20 PM EDT
The Lakers shopped Pau Gasol around a little at the trade deadline (or at least listened to offers of people that called them, if you prefer that fine-line distinction).
This summer the Lakers could test Gasol’s trade value again. Or they could keep him. Or they could amnesty him (although that seems a real long shot).
But every decision the Lakers make this summer hinges on one thing: What Dwight Howard decides.
If Howard leaves the Lakers then Pau Gasol will be back with the team next fall. If Howard returns the Lakers can explore other options, whether or not they take them.
And since Howard wants to take his time, talk to a lot of teams and be wooed, and he can’t even start to do that until July 1, Gasol knows the first part of his summer is going to be one of uncertainty. Gasol sounded resigned to that speaking to Sam Amick of the USA Today. I guess.
“Dwight is looking at his options, and there’s nothing wrong with that, I guess,” Pau said. “I’m not him. I’m not in his position, but I guess it all starts with his decision and I’m sure the franchise is waiting to see whether he decides to sign (with the Lakers) or sign with somebody else, I guess….
“Obviously from the team’s standpoint, the sooner Dwight makes his decision the better,” Pau said. “And as players and teammates too (it’s better), because in a way I don’t know — there’s certain things that depend on his decision, right? Probably. I don’t know what percentage (it factors in), or to what extent, but to some extent yes.”
There is no answer now for Gasol, he understands that. During their exit meeting Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak was apologetically vague with Gasol about future plans, because he doesn’t know how things will turn out.
Gasol is just going to have to ride this out. I guess.
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