As the trade deadline nears, rumors of a Pau Gasol trade have been heating up even more than before.
With the Los Angeles Lakers essentially out of a playoff position, the team has changed its’ approach at the trade deadline and will be looking to make a deal for the future rather than the immediate season. Gasol has been sidelined all of February with a groin injury and may not play before the trade deadline, meaning that he could have possibly played in his final game with the Lakers.
According to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer, another team has made a call to the Lakers for the 14-year big man:
The Charlotte Bobcats have been in contact with the Los Angeles Lakers concerning veteran big man Pau Gasol, but a source familiar with the discussion downplayed the likelihood Gasol would end up a Bobcat by Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
The Bobcats are currently 23-30 and are in possession of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. They have only made the postseason once in their existence and could be looking to improve their team for their playoff push. Gasol is in the last year of his contract and the Lakers would move him to help them get under the luxury tax threshold.
In return for the 33-year-old, the Lakers have been asking for a first round pick and possibly more. A deal with the Bobcats could prove tricky because it would essentially become a rental for the rest of the season, as the team is unlikely to re-sign Gasol past this season.
Gasol was averaging 17 points and 10.2 rebounds per game this season before missing this month with the injury. He has been linked to more than a few teams already and could be rumored to a few more before Thursday’s trade deadline.
VIDEO: Pau Gasol Responds To All The Lakers Trade Rumors