Hoopsworld: After back-to-back road wins, the Los Angeles Lakers have caught the Boston Celtics for the best record in the NBA at 20-4. While Kobe Bryant’s buzzer-beating game-winner over the Milwaukee Bucks was the highlight, Pau Gasol had a monster game with 26 points and a career high 22 rebounds.
The Lakers are 12-1 with Gasol this season after an 8-3 start while Pau nursed a preseason hamstring strain back to health. Since the team acquired Gasol from the Memphis Grizzlies, they’ve been to the NBA Finals two straight times with their most recent championship to show for it.
It’s no wonder the team is looking to keep him around for as long as they can . . .
A well-placed source has told HOOPSWORLD that Gasol and the Lakers are nearing a three-year contract extension.
Currently Gasol’s deal is set to expire after next season. He’s currently earning $16.5 million for the current campaign and $17.8 million for the next.
The additional three years would be the maximum permitted under the rules of the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).
While it’s not clear what dollar figures are being discussed, Gasol would be eligible for $18.7-$19.7 million in the first year of the extension depending on where the salary cap falls that year.