Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Pau Gasol has given the L.A. Lakers everything; maybe it's time they returned the favor.
The Lakers must give Pau Gasol whatever it is he wants this season. If the Spaniard requests a buyout in an effort to join a contender for a chance at a ring, so be it. In the same breath, if Gasol wishes to remain a Laker until the end of the year, the franchise must accommodate him.
The Lakers have demonstrated they take care of their own with Kobe Bryant's $48.5 million extension, and Gasol is certainly one of theirs. Prior to Gasol's arrival in L.A., the franchise could not sniff the second round because Bryant did not have enough help.
Gasol's arrival quickly changed the fortunes of the team, and the front office must reward that. Future players who contemplate joining the Lakers might look at how the team dealt with Gasol before deciding to sign up in the City of Angels.
Gasol is more likely gone at the end of this season, and really, doing right by him will more than likely be a big win for both the fans and the team this season—and for future ones.