The past three years have been rough to say the least for two-time NBA champion Pau Gasol. The Los Angeles Lakers have had Gasol on the trading block the last three seasons with the intention to ship him out in exchange for younger talent. Fortunately for Gasol, the veteran will finally become an unrestricted free agent this summer and fully intends to test the market. Although Gasol hasn't ruled out returning to the Lakers, the four-time All-Star wants major changes in Los Angeles before signing on the dotted line as he stated on his blog at PauGasol.com on April 23:
Re-signing for the Lakers is a possibility, but I’m not sure whether to say it’s a remote one. If there’s anything or anyone who could make me stay it’s Kobe Bryant. I’d stay for him, but there’d have to be significant changes. I’ve said it many times: I want to be in a team that has a solid chance to win another tournament and where I can be an important factor in the game.
Over the past few months, there's been a lot of debate about immediate future of the Lakers franchise. The Lakers face a lot of uncertainty heading into the offseason with no telling what the future holds for the 16-time NBA champions.
Once officially an unrestricted free agent on July 1, Gasol will be arguably the biggest name on the open market. With only a few high profile players set to become available in the 2014 NBA free agent class, Gasol will almost certainly get numerous offers from around the league.
Although the Lakers will get some consideration from Gasol due to Kobe Bryant's presence and the love he has for the city of Los Angeles, the veteran's main focus moving forward is winning a championship. Gasol has made it clear that he is not motivated heading into free agency and wants another chance to win a championship.
Obviously, with all the problems the Lakers have had over the last two years, the storied franchise will likely be unable to provide that kind of opportunity for the Spaniard. That being said, Gasol may have already played his last game for the Lakers.