BY THE NUMBERS:
1 – Time the Lakers have now missed the postseason since he came to the squad in the 2007-08 season.
17.4 – Points per game, up from Gasol’s career low of 13.7 in the previous season and back to his output from 2011-12.
30 – Double-doubles for Gasol in his 60 games played, up from 15 in 2012-13, as he averaged 9.7 boards in his 31.4 minutes.
For much of the season, Gasol was the only expected starter from the preseason able to take the floor, with fellow veterans Steve Nash and Kobe Bryant combining to play only 21 games. The Spaniard struggled to carry his young and mostly new teammates to wins in his 60 games played. He was solid as usual offensively, but his defense and that of the team was ineffective for much of the season. Gasol was at his healthiest in January, when he posted impressive averages of 20.8 points, 11.9 boards, 3.9 assists and 1.7 blocks on 51.0 percent field goals. Health was an issue for him as well, as he missed the final eight games of the year due to vertigo and had battled a severe upper respiratory infection that plagued him early in the season. He came into the regular season needing some time to get in game shape due to an offseason procedure on both knees, but he did hold up well on that front and did not complain of knee problems during or after the season. It’s the 33-year-old’s hope to play four or five more years in the NBA, and he’s eager to take advantage of his free agency by listening to what several teams – including the Lakers – have to say on July 1.
IN HIS WORDS:
“Like I say every year, I don’t know. This year is a little different. I wasn’t sure if I’d be traded. This year, that possibility is out of the questions. It’s now because I’m in charge of my future and destiny and listen to the possibilities on the table. I look at this as an opportunity probably for the first and last time I’ll be a free agent where I can choose. It’s nothing like I’ve experienced before in the NBA.”