Pau Gasol left his exit meeting with general manager Mitch Kupchak on Tuesday with an increased sense that he may very well have played his last game with the Lakers. “The future is uncertain,” Gasol said. “There’s no doubt about it. It’s a possibility that I could be gone and there’s a possibility that I could stay. I don’t know the exact percentages of it. But, I’m prepared for either way. “I understand the challenges that the franchise is facing, the decisions that they have to make in order to keep the team in the direction that they want to -- looking at the present and the future and also understanding the business side of it. So, it’s a lot going on. I wish things were a little simpler, but they’re not. So we’ll see.” If the Lakers were to keep their payroll at the $100 million level it was in 2012-13 next season, it would cost the team an additional approximately $85 million in luxury tax penalties because of the more punitive stipulations from the league’s new collective bargaining agreement that go into effect for the first time. Kupchak said the possibility of Gasol and the rest of the major Lakers pieces all coming back is “in play.” “We haven’t ruled anything out as of now,” he said. Yet Kupchak used the similar language to admit that the opposite is a possibility as well: "When you lose, everybody is in play ... Whether it's Pau or anybody else, we'll look for ways to improve the team." Gasol has one year remaining on his contract, which brings him $19.3 million. From a financial perspective, the assumption is that the Lakers would try to trade his expiring deal or might opt to use their one-time amnesty provision on the 12-year veteran.
Gasol knows he could be done as a Laker
ESPN | May 1