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Pau Gasol, on whether he’d take a significant pay cut to re-sign with Lakers: ‘Probably not’

Oct 11, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

Pau Gasol AP

The Lakers only have two players under guaranteed contracts for next season in Steve Nash and Robert Sacre, and just a little more than $10 million in total salary committed.

That means there’s a wealth of possibilities in terms of how the team could decide to fill out its roster for 2014 and beyond, and questions will loom large next summer about how L.A. will handle its two biggest stars.

Kobe Bryant is going to be a Laker for as long as he wishes to play; the only question will be at what cost. Considering he’s eligible to make in excess of $30 million, Bryant will likely re-sign for far less if he’s serious about his goal of trying to win one more title before he hangs ‘em up.

Pau Gasol, however, might not see things the same way.

From Mark Medina of the Los Angeles Daily News:

In the interest of the Lakers maximizing their financial flexibility, would Gasol accept taking a significant paycut?

“Probably not,” he said. “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.”

Gasol has been the subject of trade rumors off and on for a couple of seasons now, and has often been the one to take the blame when things aren’t going well in Los Angeles. Just last season, he was completely marginalized when the team tried to cater to the whims of Dwight Howard in hopes of making him happy enough to re-sign in free agency.

Now that the Dwight problem has been solved, the Lakers might have another one on their hands with Gasol. If he’s healthy and plays the way he’s capable of as the featured big man, he’ll have significant value as the trade deadline approaches. Extension talks will likely occur before then to gauge Gasol’s interest in staying in relation to his asking price, but whatever happens, it doesn’t appear as though Gasol is looking to give his current team a hometown discount.

  1. saint1997 - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:07 AM

    This season will be a true litmus test for how good he actually still is when he isn’t trying to be cater to and be so selfless around immature big men as he has been for a couple of years

    • bougin89 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM

      So are you saying he’ll actually get touches with his back to the basket? That’s how Gasol should be used. He definitely still has skills but can he stay healthy?

      • thedesert99 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:51 AM

        I agree.He should not be getting the ball from the high post especially when Dwight Howard was around.

  2. bendover09 - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:13 AM

    Look I’m all for taking the pay cut in helping the team (another reason why Dirk is a beast all around) but if the team is dumb enough to give a player a contract .. then he has every damn right to HIS money.

  3. sellahh - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    Why would he take a paycut if he’s always the main lakers scapegoat?

    • thedesert99 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      Well said!!!!!!

    • sellahh - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:51 PM

      Thanks guys, all those thumbs up make up any negative difference I’ve ever had in PBT history. And I’m a Laker fan, btw.

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:16 PM

        LOL

      • 00maltliquor - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:20 PM

        That would be cool if there was a record on our WordPress account that showed our “win/loss” thumb up/down record on PBT.

  4. shanelsweet - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:21 AM

    Some fans “know” Kobe a lot better than me, but from what I’ve read about him, he just doesn’t seem like the type of person to accept being paid substantially less than other players on his own team like Pau Gasol. He’s no Dirk (who’s already said he’s willing to sign for next to nothing to bring another championship to Dallas).

    • cuhris84 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:35 AM

      Sure Pau Gasol is no Dirk. But, he did deliver two championships and three Finals appearances. Pau Gasol, even in his advanced age and when healthy, he still a very good player. That can command within the $9-10 mil.

      • wkl21 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:44 AM

        that’s about half what he makes now.

      • spursareold - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:20 AM

        Yeah, $9-10M per year IS a significant pay cut for Pau, like wkl21 said.

    • imakcds - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      I love how Kobe haters ignore the lead subject.
      Obssessed with the Mamba, are you????

      • wkl21 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:47 AM

        you can’t (or shouldn’t) give yourself a nickname. if you have
        to try and make it something not so lame.

  5. thedesert99 - Oct 11, 2013 at 9:48 AM

    Pau Gasol can always make an impact with any NBA team.He should not suffer from being a Laker especially if Jim Buss gives him a pay cut.Better for me to see him with another team rather than practically trying to give in to the whims of Kobe “MJ Wannabe” Bryant.

  6. kb2408 - Oct 11, 2013 at 11:02 AM

    Pau loves L. A. but he shouldn’t give the LAKERS a home town discount….unless it is to help bring in enough talent to compete for a title.

    • adamsjohn714 - Oct 11, 2013 at 6:22 PM

      They’re quite a few players away from that.

  7. loungefly74 - Oct 11, 2013 at 12:15 PM

    you don’t show your cards this early on…pau is saying the right thing.

    • spursareold - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:06 PM

      Plus, a lot of teams will be saving caproom for LeBron, and only one will get (or retain) him. Teams will be looking to sign someone and spend that money. If he says he’ll stay, but then gets paid elsewhere, there would be hard feelings. He’s getting things out on the table right now.

  8. theebadguy - Oct 11, 2013 at 2:33 PM

    Why would he have any loyalty to the Lakers when they have tried to trade him several times the last few years?

  9. realitypolice - Oct 11, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    He shouldn’t. They’ve treated him like garbage, dangled him in trades, misused him on the court. If I were him I would consider taking less money to get out of there.

    • kb2408 - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:58 PM

      Treated him like garbage? How, by rescuing him from a career of languishing in mediocrity in Memphis? Being dangled in trades is a part of the business. He gets paid an awful lot of money to deal with it. Last year was an aberration because of the Dwightmare.

  10. sportsfan18 - Oct 11, 2013 at 4:01 PM

    Read up, even with discounts to such “low” amounts like $10 million a yr for Kobe and Pau (after this season I mean), the Lakers’ simply won’t have as much money as people think they will.

    Nash is on the books in 2014 for $9.7 million. Rob Sacre is on the books for just under $1 million at $915,243.

    Also, Nick Young has a player option for $1.2 million in 2014. If he plays well this yr, he’ll go elsewhere for more. If he stinks it up this yr, he might stay and take that. But let’s leave that our for now.

    With a roughly $62 million cap, it isn’t like they have the difference between Nash and Sacre’s $10.6 million.

    Teams are hit with the caphold, a place holder salary. Plus, let’s say Kobe resigns for only $10 million. Let’s say Pau takes $9 or $10 million, that gets you to $30 million already.

    They also have to save between $1 and $1.5 million for their first round pick after this coming season, amount depends on where Laker’s finish and therefore what number pick they have.

    What about Steve Blake? Others etc…? Even if they renounce the rights to everyone else they still have to count the miniumum salary hold of a bit over $500K.

    So we’re a tad over $30 million with 5 guys (Nash, Sacre, Kobe, Pau and their 14 1st round pick).

    The 2 big fish people talk of are LeBron who will earn about $20 mill then and Melo is would be about $23 million then.

    Let’s take LeBron at $20 million. That would be 6 players at a bit over $50 million now. So around $11 million and still have to have at least 13 guys on the team. 7 cheap players at the $507K minimum would bring their salary to around $54 million, which is under the $62 million cap.

    Now the Lakers wouldn’t sign all 7 at the minimum as they’d get a few players better than that.

    But they don’t have anywhere near enough cap space to go and get 2 max players to add to their roster for the 2014 season…

    Even 2 guys making $17 million is $34 million and the math doesn’t work. So Pau will be gone most likely to give them more cash to spend. Kobe will be resigned but the big question is for how much or little actually.

    Kobe has made or will have made about $300 million in NBA salary alone by this time to say nothing of his endorsement monies throughout the yrs so he sure as hell doesn’t need the money…

    Best case, $10 million for Nash and Sacre, $10 mill for Kobe, $34 or so million for two very good players and you’re at about $55 million and then you fill out the final 8 or so slots for $7 million combined…

    • kb2408 - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:25 PM

      Gotta love the smartphone G. M. ‘s.

    • bougin89 - Oct 11, 2013 at 5:27 PM

      The only thing I would put out there is they won’t be afraid to go over the soft salary cap. With sign and trades and other exceptions they will be able to fill their out their roster while going over the salary cap especially if they sign and trade Gasol or any of their players for trade exceptions, etc. Plus I’m guessing a good portion of their roster spots will be filled out with minimum salary players anyway which wouldn’t matter if they’re over the cap. They know how to get around the salary cap, they always have and always will.

  11. pukpokito - Oct 11, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Hahahahaha! crumbling down. It’s Pau’s turn.why not?no one else will look out for him than him.go make you money big man.this is your last chance at a big contract.you can take paycuts after this next one.

    • kb2408 - Oct 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM

      Where did you go to school?

      • pukpokito - Oct 12, 2013 at 2:49 AM

        Not where you did you close minded fool. Everyone hates you….(..the problem with the close minded ones is that they keep their mouth open and don’t shut up.)

        Your Lakers are done.You are NOT winning another championship in the Kobe led era.

        Don’t get personal with me. I have a Masters in both arts and Science.

  12. scbaby2013 - Oct 12, 2013 at 1:30 AM

    Hope pau stays and lakers treat him right.

  13. lhollis74 - Oct 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

    Guys, lets be intelligent here. The NBA is a job first and foremost. While they make substantially more than the average person, and can negotiate their pay, the same principles apply to most other employment scenarios as well. If you disagree, you have the opportunity to prove me wrong by telling your boss tomorrow that next year you will voluntarily take a 20% paycut, just cuz you like working there!
    We had this same convo regarding Kobe, when you anticipate having to negotiate a contract, what idiot would volunteer to the entire world that they are willing to accept less money than the employer is willing or able to pay?

    • redbaronx - Oct 13, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      @lhollis74 – The problem with your argument is that you forget that any employment situation also includes performance. If I’m an employer and you are underperforming, I may not pay you a bonus like other employees, or worse yet, if you can’t do the job, I’m getting rid of you.

      Age can capability play into performance. Professional sports is much different than other contract/bonus type of jobs for that reason, and it is unreasonable for a player to expect the same amount of pay for reduced capability, unless they’re willing to go back on the market and let the market reset their value, and Pau might very well not like that either…

  14. jimjacknjose - Oct 15, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    I think Nash should take the pay cut. I’d rather pay Gasol what Nash will be making this year.

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