Los Angeles Lakers Rumors: Pau Gasol To Stay In Hollywood?

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May 06, 2013 11:07 AM EDT
Pau Gasol
Los Angeles Lakers Pau Gasol of Spain celebrates during their NBA basketball game overtime win against the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles April 17, 2013.(Photo : Reuters) "

As the Los Angeles Lakers continue their push to re-sign center Dwight Howard, the consensus around the franchise is that they plan on bringing back all their core players from their starting unit.

That includes power forward Pau Gasol.

Gasol has been rumored to have been on the trading block the entire season, with the Lakers being interested in bringing a younger, more athletic player to fit coach Mike D'Antoni's spread offense. Instead the Lakers will plan to keep both big men, play slow and attack the basket with aggressive post plays, exactly the way they did in their 28-12 finish this season.

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During all the trade speculation, Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak made him no promises to bring him back, but according to guard Kobe Bryant, he's the one who put in a pitch for Kupchak to keep Gasol.

If Bryant's pitch managed to keep Gasol with the Lakers, then what he said about Howard's free agency should have Laker fans filled with excitement.

Bryant hasn't shown much concern on whether or not he believes Howard will re-sign because to him it makes the most sense form a "business standpoint."

"I think Los Angeles is the perfect spot for him to assert himself, kind of put his foot down and have his career really take off and be what it should be. There's no greater place for centers to play than here in Los Angeles," he said.

"From a business standpoint it makes more sense, both contractually and also perception-wise. A lot of things go well for you if you win here."

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