Gasol, 33, is in his 15th NBA season and is making $19 million this year. The only way to make a deal work with the Bobcats would be to involve the contracts of either Ben Gordon, who’s contract expires at seasons end, or Al Jefferson. The Lakers are likely to continue talking with any team that expresses and interest in Gasol; however, if teams aren’t willing to pony up a first round pick then the Lakers have no choice but to keep Gasol.
A trade to the Charlotte Bobcats seems significantly less likely than other Pau centric trades that have fallen through before. First of all, the Bobcats are in 8th place in the Eastern Conference and don’t really need a second big man. The Bobcats have a ton of holes but a great PF/C isn’t one of them. They just signed Jefferson in the offseason for three years. Second, the Bobcats wouldn’t likely throw in a first round pick in a trade for Gasol or a young asset. It’s not like the Lakers would be getting back Michael Kidd-Gilchrist or anything.
While the Lakers should be looking into any and every trade involving Pau Gasol, this one just doesn’t make much sense unless Charlotte relents and throws in a first round pick in 2014 or 2015. The only way the Bobcats would throw in a pick like that would be if Gasol had an interest in continuing his career in Charlotte. But seriously, who wants to play basketball in Charlotte?
It’s amazing to think that the Lakers might not actually trade Pau Gasol and that he may actually walk away as a free agent. Who would have thought that was possible when the Lakers “traded” Gasol away to the New Orleans Hornets for Chris Paul in December of 2011? Pau is like Floyd Mayweather. He gets a lot of stuff thrown his way but he dodges it all and comes out on top. It is truly amazing.
That being said, the NBA’s Trade Deadline is at 3 P.M. on Thursday. Can Pau dodge one last punch?