With the Lakers yet to enter any kind of extension talks with Pau Gasol, the Spaniard’s future with the purple and gold is in jeopardy.
According to Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld, Gasol’s decision of where to sign next summer will not only come down to how much money he’s offered, but also whether he can win a ring with that franchise:
[pullquote]In an all-Spanish interview with Julián Felipo of mundodeportivo.com, Lakers center Pau Gasol dropped some hints about his mindset for next season and he plays out his final contract year for the Lakers.
“It would depend on the offer,” Gasol said in Spanish. “Would be good if the Lakers made an offer to renew my contract and I could then assess whether it is something I want to do. Everything will depend on the conditions offered.”
Gasol is in the final year of his deal with the Lakers that pays him $19.2 million this season. Gasol says his next deal with hinge on a number of details.
“In the last years of my career I want to enjoy, I want to have the chance of winning, aside from being financially compensated,” Gasol said. “If you have to choose, best thing is to be in a situation where you can win another ring. [This]team there’s a lot of ifs with our team: We don’t know how Kobe will be. There’s a lot of things we don’t know about this team.”[/pullquote]
It’s doubtful that any team will offer the kind of money that he is currently making ($19-$20 million per year) but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him attract offers in the $14-$15 million per year region.
It’s currently unclear how much the Lakers might offer Gasol. With Kobe Bryant’s new deal set to take up $23.5 million next season, the purple and gold can have a maximum of $28 million to spend during free agency – that’s if they rid themselves of Steve Nash’s contract.
If the Lakers decided to give Pau around $10 million of that room, it would take them out of the running to land a max player. However, if Pau signed for a few million less they could still ink someone to a max contract.