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Gasol is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason and it is widely assumed that the Lakers is going to go in a different direction. Gasol has been a centerpiece of two Laker championship teams, but has also nearly been dealt on a couple of different occasions – most infamously in the vetoed Chris Paul trade.
Gasol still has some real supporters within the Lakers organization. Lakers GM Mitch Kupchak has always spoken very highly of Gasol and appreciated his understanding of the business side of things. Kobe Bryant went on the record saying that he wants him back and with his Bird rights the Lakers do hold the ability to offer him more than any other team this offseason.
We’ll have to wait and see if they end up doing so. If reports of Mike D’Antoni potentially returning next season are true, it’s hard to imagine that Gasol would even want to say. The two have not exactly had a smooth relationship over the last two years. If the Lakers are going to sign a max-level free agent this offseason, they’d have to renounce Gasol’s rights. They could use them in a sign-and-trade deal – potentially to the Minnesota Timberwolves in attempts to land Kevin Love. The Timberwolves were highly interested in Gasol during the David Kahn era, but not at the price of Love. Even with Love being a pending unrestricted free agent next season, it’s highly unlikely Kahn’s replacement, Flip Saunders, feels pressured enough to deal him this summer to avoid losing him for nothing. That kind of move likely won’t happen until February, if it does at all.
Murphy never really got a chance with the Bulls, averaging just 2.6 minutes in the 24 games he did appear in this season. Big men with the ability to stretch the floor are always difficult to find, though, and at 6’10 and 23 years of age with a nice jump shot, Murphy is a unique talent worth investing in, especially considering the price. He won’t dictate more than the league minimum.
Murphy is not playoff eligible, so only lottery bound teams that believe in his potential for next season will consider adding him at this late junction.
The Clippers recently clinched their spot in the playoffs at 54-23 are not really in a position where they can climb or slip at all. They’re pretty much locked into where they are, so these are about as timely of injuries as you could ask for, as long as they don’t linger into the playoffs.
The Clippers did get J.J. Redick back on Thursday night against the Dallas Mavericks, who they fell to 113-107.
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- Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo: ‘Coach Griff was a great coach’
- Shannon Sharpe wonders if next face of NBA should be married: ‘What about relationship status?’
- Pelicans sign guard Malcolm Hill to a two-way contract
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