Spaniard insists that he is used to hearing name linked with trade deals.
Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol has admitted that he would find it “tough” if he were to be traded by the franchise ahead of the deadline on Thursday.
The 33-year-old is averaging 17.0 points and 10.2 rebounds this season, but has been sidelined since January 31 with a groin strain which has seen him miss the last six games and fall off the radar of interested teams.
However, with time still remaining for a deal to be done, Gasol concedes that he is aware that Wednesday night’s game against the Houston Rockets could be the last time he plays for the Lakers.
“I hope not,” said Gasol, according to ESPN.
It’s possible. Again, hopefully it won’t happen. But it’s a possibility and it’s something that I always thought about, that this could be my last game here. It’s been like that for a while, but as we get close to the deadline, I guess it’s a little more intense.”
Gasol has already been linked with the likes of Cleveland Cavaliers and Phoenix Suns, while the Charlotte Bobcats emerged as a possible suitor earlier this week with the deadline fast approaching.
He admits that with the presence of social media nowadays he has been caught off guard with the intensity of rumours compared to when he first entered the league, but with his contract set to expire on July 1, he is aware that it is also unlikely he will remain with the team beyond the summer.
The Spanish star believes that that will arguably be the better situation for him as it will give him the chance to assess his options and make the decision that is right for his career as opposed to the Lakers, but insists that he will continue to give everything for the cause for the rest of the season.
Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash, Xavier Henry and Nick Young all remain sidelined ahead of the visit of the Rockets on Wednesday, and so Gasol’s return would be a major boost for coach Mike D’Antoni.