As the Los Angeles Lakers continue this season of despair, in which it seems ever player on the team is either injured or literally trying out for next years team, there is one player on the team who has expressed his desire of wanting to be a Laker for life: Pau Gasol. Gasol gets quite a backing from Kobe Bryant; however, the four-time NBA All-Star and two-time NBA champion has constantly been on the trade bubble for the past three years and his future with the Lakers remains unclear.
In 2011, it appeared as if Gasol had been traded after it was announce that Chris Paul would become a Laker, sending Pau and others to New Orleans; however, NBA commissioner David Stern exercised his right to veto and denied that trade for “Basketball Reasons”. Needless to say, Pau Gasol trade rumors are nothing new.
Pau Gasol has dealt with trade rumor after trade rumor to has continued to play night in and night out as if nothing was going on behind the scenes. He is rewarded for his hard work by going home night after night to hear about the Lakers entertaining trade ideas involving him. With Kobe Bryant basically being sidelined for an entire season, Gasol has had the daunting task of leading this rag tag Lakers team, which is comprised of a starting point guard from the NBAs Development league and a bunch of former bench and role players who have been forced into starting roles for the first time in their careers. Clearly the expectations for this season were not high by any means, which that means the Lakers have nothing to lose. But the question remains: How secure is Pau Gasol’s career with the Lakers?
Pau Gasol’s recent play has shed some light on a few options for the Lakers. The reality of it is Pau Gasol is still a quality big man in the NBA. In the month of January he has shown that he’s returning back to true form and he is putting up numbers All-Star caliber numbers. Since the start of 2014, he’s averaged 20.4 pts, 12.2 rebs, and 4.1 ast per game. Gasol is a proven talent and those numbers prove that he can still be of value to a team.
Many people believe that this is perfect time for the Lakers to try and make a deal involving Pau because of the level he’s playing at. Those people feel like teams will see the value in his current stats and would also value his veteran presence on their team. On the other hand, the Lakers have been searching for young All-Star talent capable of putting them back in championship contention.
There have been rumors that the Lakers are looking to clear cap space in order to make a major push for Carmelo Anthony or one of Miami’s big three seeing that they have the option to opt out of their contracts. With Kevin Love‘s frustration growing in Minnesota could there be a possibility that he makes his way back home to play for Los Angeles soon? Many NBA rumors and many GMs suggest that Rajon Rondo is expected to be traded by the Celtics. Could he come to the Lakers? Mitch Kupchak and Jim Buss have their hands full this offseason and in the upcoming trade deadline.
With the trade deadline approaching, the Lakers have decisions to make. How will they shorten this rebuilding process and avoid becoming a laughing stock for years to come? Its all going to start with how they handle the Pau Gasol situation.