Gasol, who has one year left on his initial two-year deal he signed last offseason, has been up-and-down with his status for next season.
After the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, he confirmed he would return to the Lakers and complete his contract.
However, in recent weeks, he reportedly has backtracked on that initial commitment and is “not a lock” to return.
Considering Gasol is one of just two true centers on the team, along with Dwight Howard, whether Gasol will return is a crucial component to the team’s roster considering the lack of big man depth.
Since the 36-year-old center’s status is unclear, the Lakers have begun exploring the availability of centers in the market for a possible replacement, according to NBA insider Marc Stein:
Some possible names include DeMarcus Cousins and Ersan Ilyasova, who both bring the pop factor from the perimeter as Gasol, a 40% 3-point shooter, did last year.
That could push Jordan, who already fell out of the rotation, completely out of the equation. Brooklyn has already discussed a buyout for Jordan, and the Lakers are a team to watch if he’s available, even though the fit isn’t optimal.
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