Pau Gasol hasn’t played a game in the NBA since March 10, 2019, when he suffered a stress fracture in his left foot. If Gasol does step on an NBA court again, he wants it to be with the Los Angeles Lakers, the team he won back-to-back championships with in 2009 and 2010.
Gasol expressed his desire to play for the Lakers in a recent interview with Zach Lowe of ESPN:
Pau Gasol is working toward what he hopes will be an NBA comeback and a spot on Spain’s Olympic team in Tokyo, the six-time All-Star and two-time NBA champion told ESPN on Wednesday.
Gasol, 40, has identified the Los Angeles Lakers as one of his dream destinations.
“There is meaning and history there,” said Gasol, who won titles with the Lakers alongside Kobe Bryant in 2009 and 2010. “I’m not going to lie. It would be very special, and now that my brother [Marc] is there, even more special. But I’m not in a position now to be very demanding. I don’t have 10 offers on the table.”
Where the Lakers stand on bringing Gasol back is unknown at this time, but it has been reported that they’re in the market for another center. LeBron James also seemed to like the idea of Gasol coming back when he was asked about it during a recent appearance on the “Road Trippin’” podcast.
Unfortunately, if Gasol does make his triumphant return to Los Angeles this season, it won’t be any time soon. For starters, Gasol doesn’t sound ready to put on a uniform just yet, as he told Lowe he’s still working to get back to full strength. Secondly, the Lakers won’t have room under the hard cap to sign Gasol to a veteran’s minimum contract until after the trade deadline unless they waive Quinn Cook, who’s on a non-guaranteed contract.
There will probably be better options than Gasol when that time comes, but for sentimental reasons, it would be hard to argue against the Lakers bringing back Gasol for one last ride. Like James said: “We’ll see.”