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It's no secret that Gasol's age is starting to get up there.
He's still playing at an elite level, but how much longer can that type of success be sustained? How many more quality years does he have left in the tank? How quickly will he be able to recover from the inevitable injuries suffered due to the wear and tear of a grueling NBA season?
Gasol is 33 years old right now, and he'll be turning 34 next July.
Unfortunately, the number of players who can find top-level success with that many years under their belt isn't too high. The Tim Duncans and Kobe Bryants of the world are few and far between.
Here's the list of active players who were also born in 1980, courtesy of Basketball-Reference: Matt Barnes, Steve Blake, Keith Bogans, Matt Bonner, Caron Butler, Nick Collison, Jamal Crawford, Keyon Dooling, Mike Dunleavy, Reggie Evans, Al Harrington, Udonis Haslem, Richard Jefferson, Dahntay Jones, James Jones, Roger Mason Jr., Mike Miller, Tayshaun Prince, Vladimir Radmanovic, Quentin Richardson, Luis Scola, Luke Walton, David West and Damien Wilkins.
How many of those players can realistically be considered stars? Just West, although you could still point to Barnes, Butler and Crawford as above-average players.
Like I said, the older players who maintain elite levels of success are few and far between.
The Lakers have to consider Gasol's age when they're deciding what to do with the big man. At the very least, it'll be tough to justify signing him to a long-term contract that borders on a max-level deal.