With only six games left in the regular season, Pau Gasol of the Los Angeles Lakers should sit out the rest of the season. Gasol has been dealing with symptoms of vertigo and has been out six of the last seven games. In his absence, the Lakers have been able to give more playing time to younger players Robert Sacre and Ryan Kelly, as well as allowing Jordan Hill and Chris Kaman to reenter the rotation.
If Mike D’Antoni returns, it is unlikely that Hill and Kaman will be joining him. Both have seen inconsistent amounts of playing time, even when they have played well. If they can remain healthy for this last part of the season, then it will serve the Lakers well to see if they want to keep them. By playing them ample minutes, the Lakers will get a better feel for which direction they want to go, as well as giving the players confidence in the organization.
Sacre and Kelly have both seen time earlier in the year, but are now being given more minutes to close the season. Both are playing their best ball of the season, and have grown more confident with the increase of minutes. Sacre understands his role and plays hard, even showing glimpses of offense here and there. Kelly is coming into his own, demonstrating a decent outside shot and the ability to finish. He has healed from foot problems that hindered his preseason, and may warrant a contract extension in the offseason.
Gasol has little to gain from rushing back. He has shown that he can still help a contending team, and should have no problem getting offers in free agency. The Lakers are out of contention for the playoffs, and will be better served playing other players. There is no reason for him to play another game this season.