Photo: Pau Gasol
Spain’s Pau Gasol will remain a member of the Los Angeles Lakers through the remainder of the 2013-2014 season after the team did not find a good enough deal for the center before the NBA’s trade deadline.
But the 33-year-old’s remaining time with the rebuilding team, which is far out of playoff contention with a record of 18-36, could still be short-lived because he becomes a free agent on July 1.
“That’s what I preferred, to continue to play with our team and fight through this type of season,” he said after Thursday’s 3:00 p.m. trade deadline passed.
“That type of situation (being traded mid-season) is not pleasant for anyone, for any player.”
Talking to reporters after practice, Gasol refused to speculate on the future and acknowledged that the Lakers have not indicated whether they will try to resign him after this season.
The Spaniard was traded to the Lakers from the Memphis Grizzlies midway through the 2007-2008 season and helped lead the team to three consecutive NBA Finals appearances and two championships.
He has been a constant subject of trade rumors in recent years, however, and was nearly shipped to another team in a blockbuster trade involving star point guard Chris Paul, but then-NBA Commissioner David Stern nixed the deal.
Gasol said though that he holds no grudges and understands that the marquee franchise is merely seeking to put the best product on the floor.
“I’m just glad that there are a lot of teams interested in me. That’s a good sign. That means you’re valuable.”
The Spaniard said he hopes to get back in a position to win another championship, but added that the Lakers need to make major changes to become a contender again.