Pau Gasol is glad to be free of the constant trade rumors that surrounded him in his final years with the Lakers, and he hints that the Lakers won’t be among Marc Gasol‘s preferred destinations in free agency this summer, Bleacher Report’s Kevin Ding writes. “Marc wants to win a championship,” Pau said. “That’s what he’s looking for. That’s what’s most important to him. I don’t know if you think the Lakers will be in a position to win a championship next year or not. But he knows what he’ll be looking for as a free agent—or maybe he’ll stay in Memphis because they have built a very good team already there with some very good pieces. He’ll know what he wants, and he will be ready to make his decision.”
Here’s more from the Western Conference:
- Kendrick Perkins believes that he’s done nothing but help the Thunder improve as a team during his time in Oklahoma City, Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders writes. “I just have to come out and make sure I do my job,” Perkins said. “I try not to look ahead to free agency. I just try to go out there and compete night in and night out. But ever since I’ve got to Oklahoma City, I feel like I haven’t did anything but help the organization get to where they want to be. The organization has helped me also. So this is a family. If I’m here next year or not, if I leave, I’m going to miss everyone here because we’re like family.” Perkins and his expiring contract were reportedly part of the recent trade talks involving Brook Lopez.
- With Kobe Bryant lost for the remainder of the season, Lakers coach Byron Scott said that the team’s future plans regarding Bryant won’t be known until the summer, Baxter Holmes of ESPNLosAngeles.com writes. “I got to wait until August until we have a good idea of what we’ve brought in and who we bring back,” Scott said. “Then, we go from there.”
- Scott expects the Lakers‘ star to return to action as soon as is humanly possible, and for Bryant to still be active in recruiting free agents this summer, Holmes notes. “But I think the biggest thing with Kobe, as long as [the media is] saying that he’s done, he’s going to come back,” Scott said. “I think he proved his point this year that he still has a lot left in the tank. He’s still one of the best players in the league.”
Chuck Myron contributed to this post.