Two tidbits for your bedtime reading
-First, El Spaniard, who's reported by HoopsWorld as close to an extension with the Lakers. I must admit, this took me by surprise. Not that the purple and gold would want to remain in "the Gasol Business." That goes without saying. I actually wasn't even aware an extension could be formally worked out at this point during a season. The CBA, she is a lady often confusing and unpredictable, which is why the exact dollars Gasol would receive remain unknown to our buddy Eric Pincus, the HW scribe reporting the news.
Obviously, I would NOT treat this item as a deal set in stone, because anything can and often does happen during such talks, the first I've heard of between these parties. But assuming conversations are underway and no hiccups emerge, that's clearly a fantastic development for the Lakers. No ETA on Kobe Bryant's theoretical extension, but it's damn near impossible to picture 24 picturing greener pastures. He'll get locked up sooner or later, meaning the Kobe-Gasol-Ron Artest-Andrew Bynum-Lamar Odom core will be intact for the near future.
It's a conclusion similar to the one BK and I arrived at in the studio this afternoon (SECOND SPOILER ALERT!!!) To some degree, we both feel Drew doesn't yet have an instinctive feel for a ball's flight, the ability to anticipate where the rock is rock is heading. He may also be adjusting to Gasol's presence on the court, as his glass stats began dropping the minute Pau returned to action. On the flip side, Pau's certainly adjusted PDQ to Drew sharing the lane. And whatever lack of understanding exists could be offset by a willingness to rip a rebound out of a teammates' hands if that's what it takes to make it yours. Drew doesn't have that mentality, in our estimation. It would nice to see that agenda emerge. Obviously, Drew is a young kid still learning to take his game to better-rounded level, so expectations must remain accordingly realistic. But at the Lakers are among the weaker defensive rebounding teams, so it's actually imperative that Bynum do his part. Generally speaking, teams that don't get it done on the glass don't take home a title.
Photo: Andrew Bynum raising the O'Brien trophy as Pau Gasol smiles. Credit: Chris Graythen/Getty Images