Dwight Howard is the Lakers' marquee free agent this summer, however, he seems to have learned that silence is golden. On the other hand, Pau Gasol, who is under contract for another season, is speaking out. No, he's not writing a book about the Phil and Kobe years, but he is letting people in on his long-term plans to finish his career in Spain.
“I don’t know when, but if one day I could return to FIBA basketball, I’d like to do it with Barcelona as long as I can play at a high level and being central to the team.”
For those who are unaware of Gasol's pedigree, here's the rundown. From 1998 until his rookie NBA season in 2001, Gasol was a key player for FC Barcelona, which is one of Spain's two most prominent hoop powerhouses and in his final season the 7-foot Spaniard was named Spanish Cup MVP. Although, Gasol will probably move on from Los Angeles when his contract expires in 2014, it's unlikely he'll immediately return to Europe. His return may occur down the line, but only after he's logged a few more NBA years and collected a few more Benjamins. Gasol's words also echo Kobe Bryant's previous sentiments about returning to Italy after he retires from the NBA. In all honesty, it's unlikely either of those ever come to pass, but if they do, hopefully Howard joins them. Barcelona's not quite Tinseltown, but it's as big o a market as there is in Spain.