With questions about both if Pau Gasol could have played Sunday night for the Lakers and if he is really invested and giving the team his all this season comes this news:
Gasol practiced with the Lakers Monday and will be back in the lineup Tuesday as the Lakers try to snap their five-game losing streak against the Bucks. This was reported by Mike Trudell of the Lakers, among others.
Gasol had been out the last three Lakers games. Gasol has averaged 14.7 points and 9.4 rebounds a game this season, but done it with just an above average level of efficiency (not like the vintage Gasol at all).
Gasol has been battling an upper respiratory infection on and off much of the season. When he has played he clearly has not been his old self, having not played with a lot of passion and effort. Whether that is a remnant of the illness or his lack of feeling comfort in the Mike D’Antoni system is up to you.
The Lakers have previously and may again try to trade Gasol but there are not good options — teams are not willing to take on part of his $19.3 million contract this year for a rental.
Gasol returns to a soft landing spot against the struggling Bucks, although they have gotten back from injury a good defensive center in Larry Sanders who will test Gasol.