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Pau Gasol not counting on contract extension from Lakers – and he shouldn’t

Nov 27, 2013, 10:00 AM EDT

San Antonio Spurs v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Four

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were both scheduled to become free agents this summer until Kobe got a contract extension. Will Gasol receive the same treatment?

Probably not.

Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com:

The 13-year veteran said that he did not know if Bryant’s deal means that the Lakers will also want to negotiate with him before the season ends.

“I try not to make that assumption,” Gasol said after shootaround Tuesday in advance of the Lakers game against the Washington Wizards. “If I am, I will. If I’m not . . . I’m just focusing on trying to play as well as I can and finish the season as good as I can so I’m in the best position as possible for next year. That’s just my mindset about it.”

“We have not had any discussions with Pau,” Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak said Tuesday on a conference call with a small group of reporters. “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.”

Even after giving Kobe an extension, the Lakers could easily have enough cap room to sign most free agents to a max contract (though not Carmelo Anthony), according to Larry Coon. I bet the Lakers are dreaming of those high-end free agents rather than planning to settle for Gasol this early in the process.

There’s little reason for the Lakers to offer Gasol more than a small salary-extension that still leaves them cap space to sign a major free agent, and there’s little reason for Gasol to accept a deal like that. A small offer from the Lakers will likely always be on the table. If he waits until the offseason, he might command a large offer from another team or the Lakers if they miss on more desirable targets.

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Kobe got an extension because he’s Kobe, the undeniable face of the Lakers right now and legitimate threat to retire as the greatest Laker of all time. That’s helpful for selling tickets and merchandise. That’s helpful for attracting free agents. That’s helpful for winning.

Though Gasol is a solid player, he’s not nearly on that level, and that’s why it’d be shocking if he signs an extension.

  1. billtetley53 - Nov 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM

    But, thats his brother , right? Just another case where if Kobe took less money, they could resign Pau,
    AND a “supposed” top tier FA. Kobes ego demanded he be the top earner ever in the NBA.
    To the detriment of building a team around, to the detriment of the uneducated, arrogant fanbase(thanks Kobe!)

    Next years laker team is going to be about the same. Kobe a 2nd tier player like Pau, and a bunnch of scrub/ d league players that will hover around .500. They should be shooting for the lottery, not the playoffs.

    I am hoping they get the 8 seed though. Just so they can be swept again and not have a chance at the impact players. Next 2-3 drafts after this, they have no 1st rounder.

    Lets hope they suck for 10 years. They have no tradeable assets outside of Pau,, and hrs gonna be 34.

    This is going to be fun to watch.

  2. minnesotablizzard - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Gasol will be a Timberwolf next season and make for an interesting addition to Adelman’s offense.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 12:44 PM

      Not sure why he or the Wolves would want that. They already have a pretty good center in Pekovic, and that guy they have at PF, Kevin Love, isn’t too bad either.

      • eventhorizon04 - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:54 PM

        Yep – and those two guys are earning a combined $28 million next year, so I have a hunch the Timberwolves will want them on the court as much as possible…

  3. unxpexted1 - Nov 27, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Honestly, I kind of want to see Pau walk. As much as i appreciate him as a player, I think this is the time where he could show his value with Kobe not around and he hasn’t done that. Instead he gets benched in the fourth quarter for Jordan Hill. Its the same reason why I wasn’t unhappy when Dwight left. I teetered throughout the season about his play. But that playoff series against the spurs without Kobe he was an absolute no show.

    I think it just puts into perspective how good Kobe is. Kobe may not “make people better” the way lebron does by passing and the sort. But he makes it easier for you. Look at Pau’s numbers now, they are not better than when he’s on the floor with Kobe and been like that throughout his career. Obviously Kobe’s presence means something.

  4. laownssf - Nov 27, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    Kobe doesn’t care about anyone but Kobe and is an A-hole. Thanks Jim Buss you IDIOT!

  5. pbtunpaidwriter - Nov 27, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    I’d sign Gasol to a 3 year $30 million contract but no more.

    They’d still have plenty of cap room but they would still need youth and defense.

  6. 32magicman - Nov 27, 2013 at 4:16 PM

    Jump ship Pau. The Lakers will be on a downward slide for years now. Take a pay cut and go play with your bro in Memphis.

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 4:55 PM

      Unless Randolph leaves, another unlikely landing spot.

  7. sportsfan18 - Nov 27, 2013 at 5:10 PM

    Oh the Lakers did have contract talks with Pau. Giving Kobe his contract was all the negotiations that needed to take place with Pau and his agent.

    Unless Pau was willing to also clean the arena after games, clean out the showers and crappers in the locker room after all the players left then there is nothing to negotiate about.

    They asked Kobe if they should leave some scraps for his “brother” and Kobe just glared at them while putting the pen back down…

    • asimonetti88 - Nov 27, 2013 at 5:41 PM

      The Lakers did not come in with an offer lower than what they finished at. They offered Kobe $48 million, he signed for $48 million. There was no negotiation from either side.

  8. 00maltliquor - Nov 28, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    I want Pau back. Outside of the big name free agents who are obviously going to re-sign with their respective ballclubs, Pau is the best FA out there.

  9. patsfan92 - Nov 28, 2013 at 2:12 PM

    i always felt the Lakers never gave this guy the respect he truly deserves. Kobe doesnt have #5 without pau in that game 7

    • sdlakerfan - Nov 29, 2013 at 2:19 AM

      Kobe doesn’t have #4 w\o Pau either. Agree they should resign him. Still a very good player and one of the classiest men is basketball. I think they just want to keep their options open for now but more likely than not Pau will be resigned. And would have been great if Kobe took less money to help the team land more talent but he deserves it.

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