Lobe Bryant and Pau Gasol were supposed to enter free agency together, but after Kobe’s monster contract extension, Gasol may be on the outside looking in.
According to ESPN L.A. Gasol is not going to hold his breathe and wait for the Lakers to offer him an extension.
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.”
GM Mitch Kupchak also emphasized that no discussions have been had.
“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.”
The facts are that Gasol is finished as a Laker.
Kupchak traded for Gasol and got two rings and three finals appearances out of it.