As the Lakers conducted exit interviews on Tuesday, forward Pau Gasol wondered aloud whether he'd be part of the future in Los Angeles. Gasol said that the "future was uncertain," according to Yahoo! Sports' Marc J. Spears. Considering the wild 2012-13 season included trade talks and a slump as Gasol struggled to fit into coach Mike D'Antoni's system, this is unsurprising.
Gasol added that he wasn't expecting to have a clear view of his future, according to LandOLakers.com's Brian Kamenetzky. He's used to it at this point. Even without a guarantee or an answer from Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak, Gasol is moving forward.
Pau: "I didn't demand an answer. Pointless to do that. "— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) April 30, 2013
The progression of figuring out Gasol's role goes something like this: Los Angeles must confirm it's comfortable moving forward with D'Antoni, and then they must first deal with free agent Dwight Howard. Whether the center decides to stay or to go, the attention would then likely turn to Gasol -- for what it's worth, Gasol told Spears he didn't think his future was attached to Howard -- who becomes a free agent not this summer but the offseason of 2014.
Would Gasol fit under D'Antoni in the future? After all, Gasol struggled to meld his game and was even benched before coming on late in the season and performing well in the playoffs during the 4-0 sweep at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs. Gasol averaged 14 points, 6.5 assists and 11.5 rebounds in the postseason, but that came as injuries forced D'Antoni to have little choice as to whether to feature the forward.
As one of the 10 highest paid NBA players at $19 million this season and $19.3 next, the Lakers could even use their amnesty clause to shed his salary.
Gasol told Spears he'd be happy to stay in Los Angeles. So the future is uncertain, except for the fact that Gasol knows to expect anything.