Pau Gasol isn't clear on his future with the Lakers. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)
Pau Gasol stepped into bright sunshine Wednesday afternoon, leaving the Lakers' training facility for perhaps the final time.
Reality wasn't so bright for the often ebullient Gasol. He spoke about his future in a lengthy exit interview with Lakers General Manager Mitch Kupchak but couldn't get any firm answers.
“I wish I could have clarification but they can’t give it to me right now,” he said. “I think management still has to talk to ownership to see what direction this thing will be going next year.”
Gasol, 31, averaged only 12.5 points and shot 43.4% in the playoffs. He has two years and $38.3 million left on his contract and will be a trading chip for the Lakers during the off-season.
After making the All-Star game three consecutive times, Gasol wasn't selected this season after becoming the Lakers’ third option on offense. His game undeniably suffered during the transition below Andrew Bynum in the pecking order.
“I’ve never experienced that in my career since I was very young,” he said. “I told them it was hard for me at times. I never had to search for offense or for looks on the teams that I’ve been.”
Gasol said he hoped for a “much more peaceful year” if he returned to the Lakers.
“Hopefully next year it will be a different story," he said. "But we’ll see. I can’t predict what’s going to be…
“I tried my best to give my best. I adjusted to a different role…and still tried to deliver as much as I could.”
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