According to Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein of ESPN, the Lakers have determined that their best plan of action is to keep the Spaniard, as opposed to trading him elsewhere.
The 33-year-old seven-footer has rarely seen eye-to-eye with head coach Mike D’Antoni since the former New York Knicks coach took over for Mike Brown last season. The two exchanged words through the media recently, according to Mike Bresnahan of the Los Angeles Times.
“When I’m not getting the ball where I want to, where I’m most effective, where I can bang guys and utilize my skill, that affects my aggressiveness and overall intensity,” Gasol said.
D’Antoni countered that sentiment by saying, “Everybody, to a man, we’ve just got to play harder and worry about things less.”
Gasol, at least for the moment, appears to have taken those words to heart. He’s averaging 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds per game in his last two contests, which earned him praise from D’Antoni, per Mike Trudell on Twitter:
D'Antoni said he thinks Gasol is back to playing at an "All-Star level" in the last couple games. He's a combined 16 for 21 in last 2.— Mike Trudell (@LakersReporter) December 18, 2013
Lakers checked in on Houston, which is determined to trade disgruntled center Omer Asik before Thursday. But nothing ever got serious— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) December 18, 2013
D’Antoni and Gasol have had their differences, but it appears that the pair will remain together for the foreseeable future.
Gasol’s contract is set to expire at the end of the 2013-14 season.