Veteran center Marc Gasol told reporters following his stint with the Spanish team at the Tokyo Olympics that he intends to play out the 2021/22 season with the Lakers, but NBA reporter Marc Stein (subscription required) has heard that Gasol isn’t a lock to return to the team.
Stein’s report is a little vague — it’s not clear, should the two sides part ways before the end of Gasol’s deal, whether that split would be initiated by the Lakers or by the 36-year-old big man. Stein suggests it’s also unclear whether Gasol would seek another NBA opportunity in that scenario or if he’d want to finish his playing career with a team in Spain like his brother Pau Gasol.
As we keep an eye on that situation, let’s round up a few more Lakers-related rumors and notes…
- After a recent report identified free agent guards Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison and Mike James as some players the Lakers have worked out and are considering signing, Stein adds a couple more names to that list, suggesting that the team also has guard Tim Frazier and forward JaKarr Sampson on its radar. Although Los Angeles doesn’t intend to carry a full 15-man roster to open the season, the team currently has just 12 players on guaranteed deals, so a couple more additions will be necessary.
- Thomas’ workout with the Lakers happened a few weeks ago, before he scored 81 points in a pro-am game in Seattle, Stein says.
- LeBron James took exception to the fact that 10 executives and scouts polled by ESPN’s Tim Bontemps all named either Giannis Antetokounmpo or Kevin Durant as the NBA’s best player entering 2021/22. As Bontemps details in a separate story, James tweeted that he intends to use the snub as fuel going forward.