It's sort of amazing that Pau Gasol hasn't already left the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Lakers tried and tried, not because they wanted to, but because it always made more sense to part with him than Andrew Bynum—until Dwight Howard became available, of course. Even then, it looked for a long time as though the Orlando Magic would want both Bynum and Gasol, a price too steep for GM Mitch Kupchak to entertain.
When it was all said and done, the Lakers unthinkably acquired Howard without having to sacrifice Gasol, leaving him standing after a vetoed Chris Paul trade and plenty of other rumors.
Somehow, Gasol's gotten through the storm with his head remotely intact, apparently accepting the whole "it's a business" thing a lot better than almost-traded-before-wanting-(and then getting)-a trade Lamar Odom.
But for all his staying power, the reality is that he could be a goner any second.
Yes, he should benefit immensely from Steve Nash's arrival, but if the Lakers stumble and an opportunity to upgrade the roster emerges, Gasol remains the most tradable of L.A.'s prime assets. He'll look more and more tradable as the two years and $38 million on his contract become an expiring one-year deal next summer.
If Gasol survives another round or two of trade rumors, he very well might re-sign with Los Angeles in 2014—if the price is right, anyway. He'll be 34 by then, and the Lakers won't want tie up cap space that will be budgeted toward younger star power.
In other words, if Gasol's had enough of L.A. and wants one last big pay day, he'll head elsewhere in two years.