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Keeping Gasol A Top Priority For Lakers?

According to Mark Heisler of Sheridan Hoops (via Twitter), one source with knowledge of team discussions says that bringing back Pau Gasol and keeping the current team together has become "Plan A" for the Lakers this summer. 

Last week, Gasol acknowledged that his future in Los Angeles was uncertain, even sharing that GM Mitch Kupchak wasn't able to make any guarantees about next season after the two met for an exit interview (Eric Pincus of the Los Angeles Times). However, we also noted how Kobe Bryant was a strong proponent of retaining the 7'1 forward-center, saying: “I want Pau here.  It’s not a question or discussion.  He gives us the best chance to win titles."

It's no secret that Pau endured some struggles during the season as he tried to become acclimated with coach Mike D'Antoni's style of play, but his performance over the final eight games of the season (17.5 PPG/12.1 RPG/6.6 APG/1.3 BPG/51.3% from the field) en route to a 7-1 record and a climb to the seventh seed in the Western Conference fueled the notion that Gasol can still be a key contributor on the Lakers roster. Though the team was eventually swept by the Spurs in the first round, he continued his production, averaging 14.0/11.5/6.5 with nearly one block per game in 36.5 MPG over four games. 

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