The Pau Gasol trade rumors started about two seconds after the Lakers got swept out of the playoffs by the Mavericks. Then he nearly got traded to Houston in the Chris Paul trade that wasn’t, and since then the Lakers’ season has been up and down. The trade rumors haven’t gone away either.
This week, the Lakers and Gasol sat down and cleared the air. Ramona Shelburne with ESPN LA writes that GM Mitch Kupchak wanted to fill Gasol in on his status as a Laker.
“I have an understanding of where things are,” Gasol said after the Lakers’ shootaround in Detroit on Tuesday, “where they stand and where he stands and where I stand. He [Kupchak] told me to just keep doing what you do, keep playing hard and playing on and from that point on, we’ll see.”
I think this talk probably did help Gasol settle his nerves a little, but for how long? Shelburne went on to say that Kupchak didn’t say the Lakers weren’t trading Gasol. After winning six of eight, the Lakers have since dropped two in a row to the Pistons and Wizards. With the trade deadline coming up next Thursday, it’s hard to imagine the trade chatter quieting down.
Then, when the Lakers don’t win the title, the trade talk will light right back up. Eventually I think Gasol will get moved. I don’t know when it will happen or what he’ll get traded for, but as it’s been noted before, Jim Buss has taken over day to day operations of the team and he’s not going to get rid of Andrew Bynum before he gets rid of Gasol. Trading Gasol or Bynum is the only way this team gets better since the two of them combined with Kobe eat up almost all of the Laker cap space by themselves.
The Lakers next play the Timberwolves in Minnesota. There have been rumors of a Gasol for Derrick Williams trade, but again, not sure that by itself can get Gasol out of Lakerland.