Report: Marc Gasol may not return to Lakers

Marc Gasol could be withdrawing his name from the Los Angeles Lakers’ reboot of “The Expendables” next season.

Basketball writer Marc Stein reported this week that the former Defensive Player of the Year is not a lock to return to the Lakers. Stein notes that Gasol said after the Olympics that he plans to play out the final season of his NBA contract. But the Lakers could potentially release Gasol to play elsewhere in the league or he may choose to finish his career back home in Spain as his older brother Pau did.

The 36-year-old Gasol is owed $2.7 million next season. Should he remain with the Lakers, Gasol has a good chance to reclaim his spot as the starting center for the team. Andre Drummond left to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers, and offseason addition Dwight Howard has settled into a sixth-man role at this point of his career.

To his credit, Gasol has been willing to play whatever role the Lakers need. But he already won a championship with Toronto in 2019, so the incentive to stay may not be there for him.