The Chicago Bulls' 106-98 loss to the Miami Heat last night all but ended their playoff hopes for this season, and with that, it appears any hopes of keeping Pau Gasol have faded, too.
The Spanish forward has a player option in his contract he is widely expected to exercise this summer. Although playing with the likes of Jimmy Butler, Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah seems like a good fit on paper, for a variety of reasons the Bulls have struggled this term.
Chicago would have to win all of their three remaining games and the Indiana Pacers would have to lose all of theirs in order for Gasol and the Bulls to see the postseason.
Approaching his 36th birthday in July, Gasol is a two-time NBA Champion from his time with the L.A Lakers and his partnership with Kobe Bryant.
As a top-tier glass cleaner and inside presence, Gasol will undoubtedly still have some suitors in the summer and according to ESPN's Nick Friedell, he will take Chicago's performance in the stretch into consideration.
"Nothing is set right now," Gasol said following the loss to the Heat. "Definitely, I will evaluate what I need to when the time comes. But the way the team has responded to adversity and the way we finished up the season has not been so far great, and it's been disappointing.
"So at the end of the day, when the time comes, I will evaluate things. It's hard to finish the season like this. It's not finished, but we're in a very, as we know, extremely difficult position, so everything will be thought of and considered."
Gasol headed to the Windy City two years ago after they failed to secure Carmelo Anthony, who ended up re-signing with the New York Knicks.
When the third pick in the 2001 draft was asked if he had thought about the fact these next three games could be the final times he suits up for the Bulls, Gasol responded professionally.
"Not really," he said. "I want to play every game - I always try to play every game like it's my last. I try to give it my all. I'm at a point in my career where I've played a lot of basketball and try to give it my best every single night.
"I think I'm doing overall pretty good, but I'm not thinking that it could be my last game [with the Bulls]. I mean, it could. It could be your last game any night, any given night, so from that standpoint, I don't think too much ahead about it."
A combination of injuries and a change in coach probably affected Chicago in their pursuit for an Eastern Conference playoff berth, but with the talent they have at their disposal, this season must still be considered underwhelming at the very least.