Report: Lakers’ Marc Gasol not a lock to return to team for next season

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Report: Lakers’ Marc Gasol not a lock to return to team for next season
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While the Los Angeles Lakers continue to browse the free agent market for more players to complete the roster, there’s still a possibility one may depart.

Marc Gasol, who signed a two-year deal last season, has been on an unsteady boat about his future since the season came to an end.

Gasol was the primary starting center for much of last season until the Lakers signed Andre Drummond as a buyout candidate for the remainder of the season.

READ: NBA 2K22 reveals Lakers’ Marc Gasol’s rating

Though Gasol’s fit on paper was more smooth alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis in the frontcourt, Frank Vogel opted for Drummond to start instead.

Despite confirming during the Tokyo Olympics he’d return to the Lakers to finish his contract, longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein reports that isn’t guaranteed still:

I’m hearing that Marc Gasol is not a lock to return to the Lakers, even after Gasol said following Spain’s quarterfinal loss to the United States in the Olympics that he intends to play out the final year of the two-year deal he signed with Los Angeles. It’s not yet clear if that means Gasol is poised to be set free to play elsewhere in the NBA or if he would ultimately opt to finish his career in his home country like brother Pau.

At the moment, the Lakers have only Gasol and Dwight Howard as the pure centers on the team.

Davis could move up to center to improve the spacing with Russell Westbrook joining the team, but Gasol gives L.A. a 40-percent threat from beyond the arc, which isn’t easy to find in centers.

If Gasol, 36, does leave the team, L.A. would need to replace his spot with another big man because the depth there is thin.