NBA news roundup: Pau Gasol not focusing on next contract, Channing Frye to participate in Suns training camp

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Gasol isn't worried about his future with the Lakers, while Frye is excited to get back on the court after missing all of last year with a heart problem.

Los Angeles Lakers big man Pau Gasol has been involved in numerous trade rumors the past few years, but there's a good chance this season could be his last in the purple and gold.

Gasol, entering the final year of his contract, said he's not really thinking about his future at this time, according to Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles:

"If the team is interested, they will approach me and at some point there will be some kind of meeting," Gasol said. "But I'm not sure when or how. I think it's going to depend on how I perform during the season. The better I perform, I'm sure the more interested they will be to try to sign me, I guess."

Gasol is set to make $19.3 million this year and is coming off an injury-plagued campaign that saw him play just 49 games last season. Gasol is likely on the downside of his career and the Lakers may not want to cut into their potential 2014 cap space by committing a good chunk of change to the veteran big man.

Gasol is slowly making his way back from a procedure done on his knee to help treat his tendinosis. After initially saying he wouldn't participate in the Lakers' first practice on Saturday, he wound up taking part and did nearly every drill.

Gasol said he didn't feel any discomfort that was out of the ordinary, and he's hoping to play in the Lakers' first preseason game against the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.

Frye to take part in Suns training camp 

Phoenix Suns forward Channing Frye revealed Sunday on Twitter that he will participate in training camp after missing all of last season due to a heart issue:

Frye was diagnosed with an enlarged heart prior to last season and it was unclear whether he would be able to play again. But, after a lot of hard work, Frye was cleared by multiple doctors in early September.

Suns blog Bright Side Of The Sun knows this is a big step for Frye and they're extremely excited to have the big man back in the lineup.

Howard upset with how he was portrayed during free agency

New Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has been roundly criticized for being a flake in the past. It happened again this offseason when it was reported that he was having second thoughts about choosing the Rockets over the Los Angeles Lakers.

However, Howard told USA Today's Sam Amick that it didn't play out like that. According to Howard, he simply wanted to deliver the news to Lakers brass face-to-face:

"That was not the case," Howard told USA TODAY Sports. "I was very upset about it when all that stuff started to come out because that's not what was going on. I decided ... the night before it came out, and my thinking was, 'Let me get back to L.A. and sit in front of (Lakers general manager) Mitch (Kupchak) and give the Lakers that respect.' I wanted to tell them in person.

"There was no (thought of), 'Oh man, hold up, let me think about this again.' The night before, when I had decided, I sat down with everybody - my agent, my best friend who was there, and my bodyguard, and we talked. I said this is where I want to go. I told my Dad that this is where I want to go. I said tomorrow, when I get home, we're going to talk to the Lakers. I'm going to tell the other teams on the phone, and that's what I did."

Howard went on to further explain his reasoning for wanting to tell the Lakers in person and he also talked about why he chose Houston. Playing alongside a younger star in James Harden opposed to Kobe Bryant was a major selling point. Howard also felt the Rockets gave him a better chance at a title in the next few seasons.

76ers not going anywhere

There have been some rumblings about the Philadelphia 76ers possibly moving to North Jersey, but owner Josh Harris said Sunday he has no plans on moving the team, according to Keith Pompey of The Inquirer:

"My answer to the fans is I love the Sixers in Philly. I'm committed to it," Harris said during his state-of-the-Sixers news conference.

It's going to be a trying season in Philadelphia. Harris wants to turn things around quickly, but he knows rebuilds usually don't happen overnight. Even if there are some prolonged struggles, those struggles will happen in Philadelphia.

Raptors set to announce partnership with Drake

The Toronto Raptors are set to enter into a partnership with Drake, according to Cathal Kelly of the Toronto Star. The announcement is reportedly coming Monday along with the news that Toronto will host the 2016 All-Star Game.

Drake, who hails from Toronto and is a Raptors fan, will act as a host, business partner and consultant for the team. The hip-hop artist will take a big role in a major re-branding for the franchise, although there likely won't be a name change.

The Raptors are using the Brooklyn Nets' alliance with Jay-Z as a template for the re-branding. In terms of on court success, the team is hoping Drake can help keep and also land NBA talent.

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