Los Angeles Lakers stalwart Pau Gasol has spoken of his preference to remain with the franchise beyond next week's NBA trade deadline.
Spaniard Gasol, who has been at Staples Center since being traded by the Memphis Grizzlies in 2008, has been the subject of trade rumours this season, with talks between the Lakers and the Phoenix Suns reportedly having broken down last week.
"My preference would be to stay. That's what I've been saying all year, though the circumstances are difficult right now for our team and nobody's too happy. But it's still my team and I still want to be here," the 33-year-old was quoted by the Los Angeles Times.
"I think I feel wanted. Otherwise I wouldn't be here,The team would have pulled the trigger with prior opportunities that I'm sure had been on the table. I feel like the team appreciates me.
"It's just a tough moment, I think, as far as the franchise losses. That always is going to stir things up and you've got to look at options and possibilities to get better as a team, a franchise.
"I don't take it personal. I appreciate that a lot of teams have showed a lot of interest in me and believe in my abilities to make them better and help them be a better team," he added.
Gasol, who has won two NBA championships during his time in LA, is one of several players who have been hampered by constant injury worries during a difficult and trying season for Mike D'Antoni's crew.
The two-time Olympic silver medallist has missed the last six games with a strained groin, joining the likes of Kobe Bryant, Jodie Meeks, Jordan Farmar and Nick Young on the sidelines.
Heading into this weekend's All-Star break, the Lakers are 14th in the Western Conference - above only Californian rivals the Sacramento Kings - with a rather putrid 18-35 record.
Thursday night's 107-103 defeat to Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder was the Lakers' seventh-straight home loss.
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