Time for free-falling Lakers to let go of Pau Gasol

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The departure of Dwight Howard to Houston hasn't rejuvenated Pau Gasol's career as expected.

The departure of Dwight Howard to Houston hasn't rejuvenated Pau Gasol's career as expected.

There's little doubt that, someday, Gasol's jersey will hang in the rafters at Staples Center. He outdueled Howard for the championship in '09, Kevin Garnett in '10, and made it possible for Bryant to capture two titles without Shaquille O'Neal. But that era ended nearly three years ago, in Dallas, with a shot to the chest and a sweep to the side. The Lakers went halfway on their renovation. The time has come to complete it.