As Steve Nash and Pau Gasol pondered their NBA futures following exit interviews with the Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday, both expressed uncertainty about the months to come.

Only their reasoning was vastly different.

Nash, under contract with the Lakers for next season for $9.7 million, is sure he will be back in Los Angeles. But after playing just 15 games this season because of persistent nerve root irritation in his back and hamstrings, the point guard doesn't know how effective he can be.

"They can't rely on me, frankly," said Nash, already the league's oldest active player at 40 years old. "Hopefully I come back and play 82 games next year and the sky's the limit, but they can't rely on me. We don't know what I'm going to bring."

Gasol, who will become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his 13-year career come July 1, is sure he still has "another good five years" left to play. But with the Lakers currently employing a coach whose style doesn't suit his game and the team in the middle of a rebuild, the big man doesn't know how much he wants to remain a Laker.

"I'm going to listen closely to what the Lakers will have to offer and say about the team's situation and position at the time," Gasol said. "We know what it is today, but we don't know what it is going to be July 1. See how the draft is going to play out, who they are going to end up drafting. Things like that that can have an impact or an effect on the structure of the team."

Gasol also told Yahoo! Sports he would be open to reuniting with New York Knicks president Phil Jackson, who previously coached the Lakers to five NBA titles.

"I'm happy for him and the position that he got," Gasol said, according to Yahoo!. "I'm always going to be a big fan and a friend. I would listen."

Nash missed the final four games of the season after tweaking his hamstring. He estimates he is three to four weeks away from being healthy but said that compared to last summer, when he was unable to even sprint until early September, he will have an ample amount of time to prepare himself for what will be his 19th and final season.

While Nash said he would "uncover every stone" this offseason to try to achieve a level of sustainability with his health, he is just as committed to finding some way to help the Lakers next season. He already is the general manager for Canada Basketball; how about a turn as an unofficial assistant coach?

"Regardless, I want to contribute," Nash said. "Whether I play or don't play, I'd love to be here for the young guys, be a sounding board -- even if it was out of design. Like, 'We really want you to help this rookie,' that would be an honor."

Nash experienced a similar matriculation as a rookie with the Phoenix Suns, when he learned at the heels of Jason Kidd and Kevin Johnson.

The Lakers, who finished with the sixth-worst record in the league, thus giving them a 6.3 percent chance at the No. 1 pick and a 21.5 percent chance of landing in the top three, will have a lot riding on the selection, which will be the franchise's first in the lottery since taking Andrew Bynum No. 10 in 2005.