This could be Pau Gasol's final season with the Lakers. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles…)
Mike Bresnahan covers the Lakers for The Times and ties up loose ends before all their playoff games. The Lakers trail Oklahoma City, 2-0.
Q&A of the day
Q: What do you do in the off-season for The Times?
A: Good question. It might start next week.
Don’t look for much Lakers news in the draft and free agency.
They already traded away both their picks for next month’s draft and hold only No. 60, the last selection, thanks to the Sasha Vujacic trade a couple of years ago.
Free agency? Nah. The Lakers are so far over the salary cap they’re not allowed to sign any big names. Look for another mini mid-level signing at about $3.2 million annually. The average NBA salary is about $5 million. Don’t expect much.
But there are always trades.
Pau Gasol would be the first to go. The Lakers already thought they dealt him to Houston last December. We all know how that ended.
He has two more years and $38 million on his contract. He’s a delightful No. 2 option for anybody with a tried-and-true No. 1 player.
Besides, he just won the Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award given annually to the player, coach or trainer who shows outstanding service and dedication to the community.
Good guy. But the only way I see him staying is if the Lakers go far in the playoffs. Very far.
Losing in the Western Conference semifinals isn’t real far.
This weekend isn’t just the Lakers’ last stand. It’s Gasol’s too.
If the Lakers lose Game 3, there’s no chance they win Game 4.
I just don’t see them getting swept out of the playoffs two years in a row so Game 3 will be theirs … unless they hold a seven-point lead with two minutes to play.
The pick: Lakers.
Bresnahan’s record: 7-2.
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