Now that Dwight Howard is gone, the Los Angeles Lakers will not use their amnesty provision on forward Pau Gasol, reports ESPNLosAngeles.com on Friday.
Gasol will now likely slide over from power forward to center, the same position he was in when the 2009 Lakers defeated Howard and the Orlando Magic in the NBA Finals. Players available to fill the power forward role are: Metta World Peace, Jordan Hill or rookie Ryan Kelly.
Had Howard re-signed with the Lakers, Gasol — who will make $19.3 million in the final year of his contract — was a candidate to be let go via the amnesty provision as the Lakers look to deal with their luxury tax issues. No firm decision had been made, the source insisted, as the team’s preference was to look for ways to keep Gasol. But now that decision has been taken care of with Howard leaving.
Gasol will now be playing a key role in Mike D’Antoni’s offense. Gasol and the Lakers coach clashed during last season, D’Antoni benched Gasol in the fourth quarter of games, then moved him to a sixth man role.
The Lakers can still use their amnesty provision on Kobe Bryant, Steve Blake or World Peace.